How to Choose an Interior Design Degree Program near Puunene Hawaii
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Puunene HI, 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 get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of 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 in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Decoration vs 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. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Puunene HI may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Puunene HI interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Puunene HI. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Hawaii community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically 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 several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their Puunene HI homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Puunene HI residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Puunene HI employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Puunene HI college you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Hawaii or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high 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 might also indicate that the college has a large network of Puunene HI business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Puunene HI schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Puunene HI programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Puunene home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Puunene HI, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Puunene HI?
Puʻunēnē is an unincorporated community in the central part of Maui, Hawaii, near Kahului. Although the land in that area is fairly level, the words Puʻu nēnē mean "nene goose hill" in Hawaiian. With a population of around 50, Puʻunēnē's primary industry is growing, harvesting and processing sugarcane.
The nonprofit Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum is housed in the former residence of the superintendent of Puʻunēnē Sugar Mill, which the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (a division of Alexander & Baldwin) has operated across the street since 1901. Its mission is "to preserve and present the history and heritage of Hawaii's sugar industry, and the multi-ethnic plantation life which it engendered." Also located in Puʻunēnē is the Puʻunēnē School, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Puʻunēnē's Zip code is 96784. The mill is located at 20°52′3″N 156°27′16″W / 20.86750°N 156.45444°W / 20.86750; -156.45444Coordinates: 20°52′3″N 156°27′16″W / 20.86750°N 156.45444°W / 20.86750; -156.45444, just east of Mokulele Highway, Hawaii Route 311.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Puunene HI
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Puunene HI.
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