How to Select an Interior Designer College near Summitville Tennessee
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Summitville TN, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask 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 class choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Summitville TN can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Summitville TN interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Summitville TN. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take 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 explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Tennessee vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance 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 programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Summitville TN homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Summitville TN residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Summitville TN employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Summitville TN college you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Tennessee or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Summitville TN business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Summitville TN colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts 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 probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Summitville TN programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Summitville home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active 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 Summitville TN, verify 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, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Summitville TN?
Coffee County, Tennessee
Coffee County has twelve Century Farms, the classification for farms that have been operating for more than 100 years. The oldest Century Farm is Shamrock Acres, founded in 1818. Other Century Farms include:
As of the census of 2000, there were 48,014 people, 18,885 households, and 13,597 families residing in the county. The population density was 112 people per square mile (43/km²). There were 20,746 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile (19/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.43% White, 3.59% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.91% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 18,885 households out of which 32.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.90% were married couples living together, 11.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.00% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.96.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Summitville TN
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Summitville TN.
More Awesome Cities in Tennessee