How to Select an Interior Designer College near West Haverstraw New York
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near West Haverstraw NY, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some 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 proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in West Haverstraw NY can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas 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 numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, West Haverstraw NY interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in West Haverstraw NY. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous New York community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their West Haverstraw NY homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. 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 alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your West Haverstraw NY residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of West Haverstraw NY employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the West Haverstraw NY school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for New York or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of West Haverstraw NY business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the West Haverstraw NY schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the West Haverstraw NY colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your West Haverstraw home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out 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 design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Haverstraw NY, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in West Haverstraw NY?
West Haverstraw, New York
West Haverstraw is a village incorporated in 1833 in the town of Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York, United States. It is located northwest of Haverstraw village, east of Thiells, south of the hamlet of Stony Point, and west of the Hudson River. The population was 10,165 at the 2010 census. The majority of the hamlet of Garnerville is contained in the village of West Haverstraw.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,295 people, 3,542 households, and 2,521 families residing in the village. The population density was 6,670.3 people per square mile (2,581.1/km²). There were 3,634 housing units at an average density of 2,354.5 per square mile (911.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 64.85% White, 12.80% African American, 0.55% Native American, 4.15% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 12.67% from other races, and 4.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30.37% of the population.
There were 3,542 households out of which 37.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.45.
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near West Haverstraw NY
Choosing the right interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Haverstraw NY.
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