How to Select an Interior Design College near Willington Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Willington CT, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics 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 class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Willington CT can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Willington CT interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career in Willington CT. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives 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 choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Connecticut vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Willington CT homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Willington CT residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing 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 cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Willington CT employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Willington CT school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Willington CT business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Willington CT schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various 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 school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively 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 probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Willington CT programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Willington home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Willington CT, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Willington CT?
The Willimantic River borders the town on the west. Willington is about 25 miles northeast of Hartford on Interstate 84, which also provides a connection to Boston, via the Massachusetts Turnpike. Providence, RI is accessible via U.S. Route 44. Larger communities nearby include Coventry, Stafford, Tolland, and Willimantic. The University of Connecticut is located in adjacent Mansfield. A new public library (formerly located within Hall Memorial School) opened in autumn 2006.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 33.5 square miles (87 km2), of which 33.3 square miles (86 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.63%) is water.
As of the census of 2000 (a 2010 census is available), there were 5,959 people, 2,353 households, and 1,437 families residing in the town. The population density was 179.1 people per square mile (69.2/km²). There were 2,429 housing units at an average density of 73.0 per square mile (28.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.06% White, 0.97% African American, 0.12% Native American, 3.02% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.62% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.81% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Willington CT
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Willington CT.
More Awesome Cities in Connecticut
Business Results 1 - 10 of 39