How to Find an Interior Designer College near Waterville Kansas
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Waterville KS, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation 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 interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work 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 formal training 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Waterville KS 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Waterville KS interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Waterville KS. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose 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 addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many Kansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options 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 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 differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Waterville KS homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Waterville KS home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Waterville KS employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Waterville KS college you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Kansas or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing 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 college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Waterville KS business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Waterville KS schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate 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 Waterville KS programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Waterville home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Waterville KS, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Waterville KS?
Waterville is located at 39°41.5′N 96°45′W / 39.6917°N 96.750°W / 39.6917; -96.750. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.50 square miles (1.29 km2), of which, 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 680 people, 294 households, and 192 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,387.8 inhabitants per square mile (535.8/km2). There were 331 housing units at an average density of 675.5 per square mile (260.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.4% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 294 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.7% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.90.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Waterville KS
Picking the ideal interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Waterville KS.
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