How to Select an Interior Design College near Luverne Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Luverne AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many future 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 factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Luverne AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Luverne AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Luverne AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose 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) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire 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 professionally and adopt 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 an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Luverne AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Luverne AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Luverne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. 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 Luverne AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Luverne AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Luverne AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Luverne AL programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Luverne home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Luverne AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Luverne AL?
Luverne is a city in and the county seat of Crenshaw County, Alabama, United States. The community bills itself as "The Friendliest City in the South". At the 2010 census the population was 2,800.
Luverne was one of numerous towns developed in the state as a result of railroad construction. It was founded in 1889 in the central part of Crenshaw County, near the Patsaliga River, in association with the construction of the Montgomery and Florida Railroad; it was intended as the terminus. The new railroad station attracted related development and the town grew. It incorporated in 1891. This was a center of timbering in the Piney Woods of southern Alabama, as the land was not fertile enough to be suitable for large-scale cotton plantation agriculture.
By the late 1930s, lynchings of African Americans were increasingly conducted in small groups or in secret, rather than in the former mass public displays. On June 22, 1940, an African-American man named Jesse Thornton was lynched in Luverne for failing to address a white man with the title of "Mister". He was fatally shot and his body was later found in the Patsaliga River. The Equal Justice Initiative documented that the white man Thornton had apparently offended by his Jim Crow infraction was a police officer. This was the only lynching recorded in the county.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Luverne AL
Picking the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Luverne AL.
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