How to Find an Interior Design College near Wellington Kansas
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Wellington KS, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many future students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Wellington KS may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must 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, Wellington KS interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Wellington KS. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam 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 available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Kansas vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Wellington KS homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools 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 as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn 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 ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Wellington KS home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wellington KS employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Wellington KS program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Kansas or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Wellington KS business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Wellington KS schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Wellington KS colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Wellington home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask 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, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wellington KS, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Wellington KS?
Wellington was first surveyed in 1871 and named for the Duke of Wellington. It was designated as the permanent seat of Sumner County in 1872, winning out over competitor Sumner City. Trading with the cattle herds coming up the Chisholm Trail was an important factor in the early economy of the town.
In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a branch line north-south from Herington through Wellington to Caldwell. It foreclosed in 1891 and was taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which shut down in 1980 and reorganized as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".
Wellington is located at 37°16′2″N 97°24′0″W / 37.26722°N 97.40000°W / 37.26722; -97.40000 (37.267289, -97.400061), at an elevation of 1230 feet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.19 square miles (21.21 km2), of which, 7.61 square miles (19.71 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.50 km2) is water.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Wellington KS
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still important that you perform 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 ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wellington KS.
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