How to Pick an Interior Design College near Whittemore Michigan
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Whittemore MI, 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 obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But where do you begin? Many prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have 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 many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Whittemore MI can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Whittemore MI interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Whittemore MI. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Michigan vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure 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 specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Whittemore MI homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy 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 a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select 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 program may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Whittemore MI home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify 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 accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Whittemore MI employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Whittemore MI program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Whittemore MI business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Whittemore MI colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Whittemore MI programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Whittemore home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Whittemore MI, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Whittemore MI?
As of the census of 2010, there were 384 people, 183 households, and 96 families residing in the city. The population density was 387.9 inhabitants per square mile (149.8/km2). There were 226 housing units at an average density of 228.3 per square mile (88.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 1.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.3% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
There were 183 households of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.7% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 39.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.10 and the average family size was 2.79.
The median age in the city was 47 years. 19% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.1% were from 25 to 44; 33.1% were from 45 to 64; and 19% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.3% male and 54.7% female.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Whittemore MI
Choosing the right interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Whittemore MI.
More Awesome Cities in Michigan
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3