How to Choose an Interior Design College near Washington Kansas
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Washington KS, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? Some prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Washington KS may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Washington KS interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to launch your new profession in Washington KS. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some 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. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Kansas vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Washington KS homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to 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 option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Washington KS home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish 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 Washington KS employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Washington KS school you choose should also furnish the proper education 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Washington KS business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Washington KS schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Washington KS colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Washington home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Washington KS, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Washington KS?
Washington was established in spring 1860, and in the same year named county seat. Until the end of the American Civil War it was protected by two stockaded buildings, the Washington Company House and Woolbert's Stockade Hotel.
Washington is 39°N 97°W / 39°N 97°W / 39; -97 (39.816877, -97.052503). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.91 square miles (2.36 km2), of which 0.87 square miles (2.25 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,131 people, 512 households, and 311 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,300.0 inhabitants per square mile (501.9/km2). There were 582 housing units at an average density of 669.0 per square mile (258.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.8% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Washington KS
Choosing the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided 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 drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Washington KS.
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