How to Select an Interior Designer Course near Saguache Colorado
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Saguache CO, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your skills 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 essential that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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 available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Saguache CO may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers 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 principles, Saguache CO interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Saguache CO. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Colorado vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized 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 degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire 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 as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Saguache CO homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Saguache CO home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry 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 teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Saguache CO employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Saguache CO program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Colorado or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Saguache CO business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Saguache CO colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper 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 probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Saguache CO colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Saguache home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Saguache CO, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Saguache CO?
Saguache is a small historical village in an agricultural area in southern Colorado at the northern gateway to the San Luis Valley, a valley between the Sangre de Cristo Range on the east and the San Juan Mountains to the west. Saguache Creek flows through the town from its beginnings high in the San Juan mountains. The site has been known for centuries to Native Americans who moved down from their summer homes in the mountains to the valley during the winter months. The Spanish began to move into the area in the 1600s and Spanish sheepherders passed through each year as they drove their flocks into the hills for summer grazing. Later the early white settlers and miners passed through this area, many seeking passage west along the Old Spanish Trail. In the mid-1860s, the first permanent white settlements were established in Saguache and the nearby town of Villa Grove. Saguache County was officially founded in 1866.
The formation of the town was influenced by the occupations and needs of the era. Beginning as a trading post, in the late 1800s mining became a significant influence as the Colorado mining boom brought hundreds of mining operations to the surrounding mountains and the miners needed a steady supply of food and other goods.
The town was founded by Otto Mears, who came to Saguache in 1867. Mears constructed a wheat thresher and a grist mill for thrashing and grinding wheat to make flour to supply Saquache and the surrounding mines. He also built toll roads over the nearby mountain passes to use for hauling supplies to mining camps to the north, and to further open the area to settlement. The Saguache Town Company was formed in 1874 turning Saquache into a booming supply town. Mears also established a newspaper, the Saguache Chronicle, to attract pioneers to Saguache. He is most famous for his later work, the building of the famous Million Dollar Highway.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Saguache CO
Selecting the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Saguache CO.
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