How to Find an Interior Design College near Wind Gap Pennsylvania
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Wind Gap PA, it’s time to begin 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 obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of 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 very important that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Wind Gap PA may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Wind Gap PA interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new career in Wind Gap PA. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Pennsylvania trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Wind Gap PA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying 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 laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you choose 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 online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Wind Gap PA residence. Obviously 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 limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Wind Gap PA employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Wind Gap PA program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Wind Gap PA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Wind Gap PA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Wind Gap PA schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Wind Gap home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wind Gap PA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Wind Gap PA?
Wind Gap, Pennsylvania
Wind Gap (Pennsylvania Dutch: Gratdaal) is a borough in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, United States. Wind Gap is located in the Lehigh Valley region of the state. It is part of Pennsylvania's Slate Belt.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,812 people, 1,221 households, and 765 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,061.8 people per square mile (798.3/km2). There were 1,294 housing units at an average density of 948.8 per square mile (367.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 97.62% White, 0.46% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.68% Asian, 0.53% from other races, and 0.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population.
There were 1,221 households, out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.84.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Wind Gap PA
Picking the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to recieve an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wind Gap PA.
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