How to Choose an Interior Design College near Winnsboro South Carolina
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Winnsboro SC, 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 important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Winnsboro SC can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. 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 particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate 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, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. 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, Winnsboro SC interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new career in Winnsboro SC. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of South Carolina trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects 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 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want 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.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Winnsboro SC homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain 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 schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
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, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Winnsboro SC home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish 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 offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Winnsboro SC employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Winnsboro SC program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Winnsboro SC business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Winnsboro SC colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Winnsboro SC colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Winnsboro home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Winnsboro SC, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Winnsboro SC?
Winnsboro, South Carolina
Winnsboro is a town in Fairfield County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,550 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Fairfield County. Winnsboro is part of the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Based on archeological evidence, this area was occupied by various cultures of indigenous peoples from as early as the Archaic period, about 1500 BC. Blair Mound is a nearby archeological site and earthwork likely occupied 1300-1400 AD, as part of the late Mississippian culture in the region.
Several years before the Revolutionary War, Richard Winn from Virginia moved to what is now Fairfield County in the upland or Piedmont area of South Carolina. His lands included the present site of Winnsboro, and as early as 1777 the settlement was known as "Winnsborough". Two of his brothers joined him there, adding to family founders.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Winnsboro SC
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to recieve a higher education, there are many points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still imperative 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 evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Winnsboro SC.
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