How to Choose an Interior Design Degree Program near Tazewell Tennessee
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Tazewell TN, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may 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 school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, 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
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Tazewell TN may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Tazewell TN interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Tazewell TN. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Tennessee community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical 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 two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional 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 professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Tazewell TN homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Tazewell TN residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tazewell TN employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Tazewell TN school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Tazewell TN business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Tazewell TN colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Tazewell TN colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Tazewell home, go to the campus and sit in on a few 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tazewell TN, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Tazewell TN?
Tazewell is a town in and the county seat of Claiborne County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 2,165 at the 2000 census and 2,218 at the 2010 census. The town is named for Henry Tazewell (1753–1799), a U.S. senator from Virginia.
In 1750, Dr. Thomas Walker of Virginia publicized the location of Cumberland Gap, which brought a stream of long hunters down the Clinch and Powell valleys into what is now Claiborne County. The land at the time was part of Cherokee and Shawano hunting grounds, and hostile attacks by members of these two tribes were not uncommon. To protect themselves, hunters, fur traders and early settlers erected a series of small forts and stations along the Powell and Clinch valleys. One such station, known as Fort Butler, was located just west of modern Tazewell.
Among the earliest settlers in the Tazewell area was John Hunt (1750–1822), a militia captain who would later be instrumental in the founding of Huntsville, Alabama. In 1804, three years after the creation of Claiborne County, Tazewell was chosen as the county seat due in part to Hunt's influence (although a local legend states that the residents of Tazewell's rival for the seat, Springdale, were too intoxicated to vote on the day of selection). Hunt was named the county's first sheriff, and the government met at his house until a courthouse was constructed. The original courthouse was a wooden structure which had hitching posts for horses in front.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Tazewell TN
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Tazewell TN.
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