How to Find an Interior Designer College near Williamsburg Kentucky
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Williamsburg KY, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. 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 selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Williamsburg KY can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Williamsburg KY interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new career in Williamsburg KY. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed 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 descriptions 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 about two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Kentucky community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed 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 two year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Williamsburg KY homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Williamsburg KY residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Williamsburg KY employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Williamsburg KY college you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Kentucky or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Williamsburg KY business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Williamsburg KY schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Williamsburg KY colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Williamsburg home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Williamsburg KY, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Williamsburg KY?
Williamsburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Whitley County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 5,245 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in 1818 and named after William Whitley. The Cumberland River flows through the city.
Williamsburg was first known as the Spring Ford after a nearby ford crossing the Cumberland River. On 19 April 1818 the first meeting of the Whitley County Court was held at Samuel Cox's own home. This first court appointed local officials as well as constables to work with the county militia. The town was then known simply as Whitley Courthouse. This name would be changed in 1882 to Williamsburgh, and later changed in 1890 to its current Williamsburg.
The town's initial growth was fueled by three fresh water springs in the area and then by coal and lumber industries. This growth was greatly accelerated by the introduction of the L&N railroad coming to the town in 1883, opening the town to far flung markets and greatly easing the flow of population. Shortly thereafter in 1886 the town would elect W. H. Parker as its first mayor.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Williamsburg KY
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Williamsburg KY.
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