How to Find an Interior Designer Degree Program near San Luis Colorado
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near San Luis CO, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? Some future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in San Luis CO may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, San Luis CO interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in San Luis CO. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Colorado community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade needed 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 supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary 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 schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their San Luis CO homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your San Luis CO residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of San Luis CO employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the San Luis CO college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado 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 no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of San Luis CO business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the San Luis CO colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the San Luis CO colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your San Luis home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm 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 college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near San Luis CO, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in San Luis CO?
San Luis, Colorado
The Town of San Luis is a statutory town that is the county seat and the most populous town of Costilla County, Colorado, United States. Formerly known as San Luis de la Culebra, San Luis is the oldest continuously occupied town in Colorado. The population was 629 at the 2010 census.
Hispanic settlers from the Taos Valley established several small villages along the Rio Culebra in the San Luis Valley and officially took possession of this portion of the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant on April 9, 1851. Settlers built a church in the central village of La Plaza Medio and dedicated it on the Feast of Saint Louis, June 21, 1851. The village was renamed San Luis de la Culebra in honor of its patron saint. San Luis remained part of the Territory of New Mexico until 1861 when the Territory of Colorado was established. Today, San Luis is the oldest continuously inhabited town in the state of Colorado.
A Pueblo Chieftain article dated June 8, 1872 describes the three stores of San Luis as kept by Fred Meyer & Co, Auguste Lacome, and Mazers & Rich in addition to a blacksmith, butcher, beer saloon, carpenter, and two hotels.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near San Luis CO
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to recieve a higher education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Luis CO.
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