How to Select an Interior Design College near Woodbine Iowa
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Woodbine IA, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount 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, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Woodbine IA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Woodbine IA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Woodbine IA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Iowa trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job 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 residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Woodbine IA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Woodbine IA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Woodbine IA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Woodbine IA program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa 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 no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Woodbine IA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Woodbine IA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Woodbine IA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Woodbine home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Woodbine IA, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Woodbine IA?
Woodbine was platted 1866 at the time the Chicago and North Western Railway was built through that territory. It was incorporated as a town in 1877. The town was named for the dense growth of the woodbine plant near the original town site.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,459 people, 611 households, and 389 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,139.8 inhabitants per square mile (440.1/km2). There were 679 housing units at an average density of 530.5 per square mile (204.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White, 0.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.8% of the population.
There were 611 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.3% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.89.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Woodbine IA
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Woodbine IA.
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