How to Pick an Interior Design College near Weaverville North Carolina
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Weaverville NC, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Weaverville NC can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Weaverville NC interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new career in Weaverville NC. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at many North Carolina community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things 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 primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Weaverville NC homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive 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.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Weaverville NC residence. 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 qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Weaverville NC employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School 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 as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Weaverville NC college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for North Carolina or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Weaverville NC business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Weaverville NC schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors 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 probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Weaverville NC schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Weaverville home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Weaverville NC, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Weaverville NC?
Weaverville, North Carolina
Weaverville is located in northern Buncombe County at 35°41′45″N 82°33′30″W / 35.69583°N 82.55833°W / 35.69583; -82.55833 (35.695809, -82.558444).Interstate 26, concurrent with U.S. Routes 23 and 19, runs along the western edge of the town, with access from exits 18, 19, and 21. I-26 leads south 9 miles (14 km) to downtown Asheville and 51 miles (82 km) north to Johnson City, Tennessee. U.S. Routes 25 and 70 head west from exit 19, leading 52 miles (84 km) to Newport, Tennessee.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km2), of which 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.24%, is water, including a man-made lake on the southern outskirts of town named Lake Louise.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,416 people, 1,008 households, and 690 families residing in the town. The population density was 954.2 people per square mile (368.7/km²). There were 1,081 housing units at an average density of 426.9 per square mile (165.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.69% White, 1.28% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.16% of the population.
Select the Best Interior Design School near Weaverville NC
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Weaverville NC.
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