How to Find the Right Interior Design College Lafayette 36862
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Lafayette AL, 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 essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other important 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 training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Lafayette AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. 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 aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Lafayette AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Lafayette AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama 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 supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover 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 supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Lafayette AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure 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 online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Lafayette AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Lafayette AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Lafayette AL program you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Lafayette AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Lafayette AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Lafayette AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Lafayette home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lafayette AL, confirm 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, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Lafayette AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Lafayette Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
LaFayette (/ləˈfeɪ.ɛt, -ˈfaɪ-/ lə-F(A)Y-et, /ˈlʌfeɪ.ɛt/ LUF-ay-et) is the county seat of Chambers County, Alabama, United States, 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Columbus, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,003.
Chambers County was formed in 1832. The newly elected county officials opted to locate the county seat as near as possible to the center of the county. Lots for the new town were auctioned in October 1833, with proceeds from the sale financing the construction of a courthouse and jail. The town was first called "Chambersville", but by the time of incorporation on January 7, 1835, the town name had been changed to "Lafayette", named after the Marquis de Lafayette; its spelling was changed to "LaFayette" due to the influence of newspaper editor Johnson J. Hooper, who created a fictional character called Captain Simon Suggs, a backwoods southerner who pronounced the town's name as "La Fait". The city's newspaper, The LaFayette Sun, was founded under the name The Alabama Standard in April 1841 and adopted its current name on August 3, 1881.
LaFayette is the birthplace of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. An 8-foot (2.4 m) bronze statue, executed by sculptor Casey Downing Jr. of Mobile, Alabama, was erected in Louis' honor in front of the Chambers County courthouse. It is also the hometown of Hoyt L. Sherman, one of artist Roy Lichtenstein's principal art professor/mentors at Ohio State University.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Lafayette AL
Picking the right interior design school is an important first 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 task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Home Interior Design Colleges. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lafayette AL.
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