How to Choose an Interior Designer Course near Greensboro Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Greensboro AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Greensboro AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Greensboro AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Greensboro AL. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives 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. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Greensboro AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Greensboro AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Greensboro AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Greensboro AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Greensboro AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Greensboro AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Greensboro AL programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Greensboro home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Greensboro AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Greensboro AL?
Greensboro is a city in Hale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,497, down from 2,731 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Hale County, Alabama, which was not organized until 1867. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greensboro was incorporated as a town in December 1823 as "Greensborough". It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The name was soon simplified to "Greensboro". The community was known as "Troy" prior to incorporation.
Reflecting the history of the antebellum years and a culture built on cotton plantations to produce the commodity crop, several sites on the National Register of Historic Places in or near Greensboro are connected to this past. These include Glencairn, the Greensboro Historic District, Magnolia Grove, the McGehee-Stringfellow House, Millwood, and the Payne House.
Pick the Best Interior Design School near Greensboro AL
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Greensboro AL.
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