How to Choose an Interior Design Program near Westwego Louisiana
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Westwego LA, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Some potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many 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 functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Westwego LA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Westwego LA interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Westwego LA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Louisiana community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Westwego LA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs 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 conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Westwego LA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Westwego LA employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Westwego LA college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Westwego LA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Westwego LA colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Westwego LA colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Westwego home, visit the college and attend 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Westwego LA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Westwego LA?
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.2 km²), of which 3.1 square miles (8.3 km²) is land and 0.5 square mile (1.0 km²) (10.64%) is water.
One story states generally that Westwego was so named because it was a major crossing point on the Mississippi river during the great westward movement of the late 19th century. When travelers were asked their destination, they would often reply "west we go". Another more specific tale, recounted in John Churchill Chase's Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children is that the name was the specific outcome of an 1871 meeting of a railroad board of directors in New York, where planning was undertaken to use the site as an eastern terminus ("...west we go from there"). There has been further speculation that this use of "Westwego" as a place name may have been influenced by the board members' familiarity with the name of Oswego, New York.
The area of Westwego, Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before Europeans settled here. These indigenous people created huge shells middens that can still be seen in the vicinity today. The French first developed the area in 1719 when French Minister of State LeBlanc started a plantation and a port along the Mississippi River. The port became an important site in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. The estate was later owned by the Zeringue family, who turned it into bustling sugar plantation, known as Seven Oaks. Planter Camille Zeringue built a canal at the plantation that played a prominent role in the community's history for decades. Other antebellum plantations in the area included the Whitehouse Plantation, Magnolia Lane, and the LaBranche Plantation among others. After Camille Zeringue's death, Seven Oaks was owned by Pablo Sala, who divided the property along the canal into lots, which he sold for $40 each. Many of these lots were purchased by displaced hurricane victims from Cheniere Caminada whose homes were destroyed in the great unnamed 1893 storm. With the addition of these families, who were mostly fisherman and trappers, the community of Salaville was born.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Westwego LA
Choosing the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Westwego LA.
More Awesome Cities in Louisiana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 49