How to Find an Interior Design Program near North Kingstown Rhode Island
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near North Kingstown RI, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But just where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation 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 interested in later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, 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 work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in North Kingstown RI may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, North Kingstown RI interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in North Kingstown RI. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select 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. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Rhode Island community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally 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 deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly 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 three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their North Kingstown RI homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your North Kingstown RI home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential 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 highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of North Kingstown RI employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the North Kingstown RI school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Rhode Island or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask 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 profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of North Kingstown RI business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the North Kingstown RI colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the North Kingstown RI colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your North Kingstown home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near North Kingstown RI, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in North Kingstown RI?
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
North Kingstown is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States, and is part of the Providence metropolitan area. According to the 2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the population in 2015 was 22,358. North Kingstown is home to the birthplace of the famous American portraitist Gilbert Stuart who was born in the village of Saunderstown. Within the town is Quonset Point, location of the former Naval Air Station Quonset Point, known for the invention of the Quonset hut, as well as the neighborhood of Davisville, location of the former Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center.
The town of Kings Towne was founded in 1674, by the colonial government, and included the present day towns of North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Exeter, and Narragansett. In 1722, Kings Towne was split into two parts, North Kingstown and South Kingstown, with North Kingstown, having the earliest settlements, retaining the 1674 establishment date. In 1742 the town of Exeter was taken from the western part of North Kingstown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 58.3 square miles (151 km2). 43.6 square miles (113 km2) of it is land and 14.8 square miles (38 km2) of it (25.28%) is water.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near North Kingstown RI
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in North Kingstown RI.
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