How to Pick an Interior Design College near Falling Waters West Virginia
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Falling Waters WV, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you start? Many future students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Falling Waters WV can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Falling Waters WV interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new career in Falling Waters WV. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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 accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many West Virginia vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Falling Waters WV homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a respected 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 learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Falling Waters WV home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at also, 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 obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Falling Waters WV employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Falling Waters WV college you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Falling Waters WV business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Falling Waters WV colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Falling Waters WV colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Falling Waters home, go to the school 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 approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Falling Waters WV, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Falling Waters WV?
Falling Waters, West Virginia
Falling Waters is a census-designated place (CDP) on the Potomac River in Berkeley County, West Virginia. It is located along Williamsport Pike (US 11) north of Martinsburg. According to the 2010 census, Falling Waters has a population of 876. A 1887 Scientific American article claimed that the first U.S Railroad was built in Falling Waters in 1814. 
The community of Falling Waters was established in 1815. Because of its location between Hagerstown and Martinsburg on the Potomac River, Falling Waters is a predominantly residential community with numerous historic residences, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, recently the community has had a boom in new residential construction as many people use Falling Waters as a bedroom community to commute to cities nearby and as far as Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
In the latter engagement on the Maryland side of the river, Confederate general J. Johnston Pettigrew, a key leader of Pickett's Charge, was mortally wounded by Union cavalry under George Armstrong Custer. However, his men helped delay the Union forces long enough for the bulk of the Army of Northern Virginia to escape into West Virginia and then on to Virginia following its defeat at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Pick the Best Interior Design School near Falling Waters WV
Choosing the right interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Falling Waters WV.
More Awesome Cities in West Virginia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 18