How to Find an Interior Designer Degree Program near Grand Canyon Arizona
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Grand Canyon AZ, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Grand Canyon AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Grand Canyon AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new profession in Grand Canyon AZ. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Grand Canyon AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Grand Canyon AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Grand Canyon AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Grand Canyon AZ college you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, 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 indicate that the college has a substantial network of Grand Canyon AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Grand Canyon AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Grand Canyon AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Grand Canyon home, visit the college and monitor 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Grand Canyon AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Grand Canyon AZ?
The Grand Canyon (Hopi: Ongtupqa;Yavapai: Wi:kaʼi:la, Navajo: Tsékooh Hatsoh, Spanish: Gran Cañón) is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).
The canyon and adjacent rim are contained within Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, the Hualapai Indian Reservation, the Havasupai Indian Reservation and the Navajo Nation. President Theodore Roosevelt was a major proponent of preservation of the Grand Canyon area, and visited it on numerous occasions to hunt and enjoy the scenery.
Nearly two billion years of Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channels through layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau was uplifted. While some aspects about the history of incision of the canyon are debated by geologists, several recent studies support the hypothesis that the Colorado River established its course through the area about 5 to 6 million years ago. Since that time, the Colorado River has driven the down-cutting of the tributaries and retreat of the cliffs, simultaneously deepening and widening the canyon.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Grand Canyon AZ
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Grand Canyon AZ.
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