How to Select an Interior Design Program near Vernon Indiana
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Vernon IN, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right training to put your talents 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 exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Vernon IN can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Vernon IN interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Vernon IN. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Indiana community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Vernon IN homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools 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. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Vernon IN residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Vernon IN employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Vernon IN school you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Indiana or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Vernon IN business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Vernon IN schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important 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 assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Vernon IN colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Vernon home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Vernon IN, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Vernon IN?
Find the Right Interior Design School near Vernon IN
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However 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 properly review and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Vernon IN.
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