How to Select an Interior Design College near Eastaboga Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Eastaboga AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Eastaboga AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Eastaboga AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Eastaboga AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Eastaboga AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Eastaboga AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Eastaboga AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Eastaboga AL college you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Eastaboga AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Eastaboga AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Eastaboga AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Eastaboga home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Eastaboga AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Eastaboga AL?
Eastaboga is an Unincorporated community on the border of Talladega and Calhoun counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was previously called McFall, named for a settling family in the 1850s, and incorporated in 1898, only to be disincorporated in 1901. The original community of Eastaboga was to the south and became known as Old Eastaboga after McFall's name was changed to Eastaboga.
The present unincorporated community of Eastaboga was listed as the incorporated town of McFall on the 1900 census, and had 820 residents. Of that, a majority, 482, lived on the Talladega County side, and 338 lived on the Calhoun County side. It was disincorporated after just 3 years in 1901 and the post office closed under that name in 1906. At some point on, it was renamed Eastaboga (while the nearby community to the south of the same name became "Old Eastaboga").
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Eastaboga AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eastaboga AL.
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