How to Find the Right Interior Design Degree Program Montevallo 35115
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Montevallo AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But just where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Montevallo AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often 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, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Montevallo AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Montevallo AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Montevallo AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Montevallo AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Montevallo AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Montevallo AL school you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly 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 high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Montevallo AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Montevallo AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Montevallo AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Montevallo home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Montevallo 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 also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Montevallo AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Montevallo Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Montevallo is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. A college town, it is the home of the University of Montevallo, a public liberal arts university with approximately 3,000 students. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city of Montevallo is 6,323. Dr. Hollie Campbell Cost, a professor in the College of Education at the University of Montevallo, serves as Mayor.
Montevallo is located at 33°6′18″N 86°51′46″W / 33.10500°N 86.86278°W / 33.10500; -86.86278 (33.1049, -86.8628). A plaque on Reynolds Cemetery Road, just off Alabama State Route 25, in the eastern corner of the town, marks the geographic center of the state of Alabama. Middle Street, formerly known as Main Street, had its name changed in 1899 for this reason, upon the completion of a new state survey.
The area where Montevallo is now was once controlled by the Creek Indians. After being acquired in 1814 Jesse Wilson claimed a small hill on the northern bank of the Shoal Creek and created a homestead there, making it the oldest settlement in Shelby County. Wilson's friends and family followed afterwards and also settled in the area, and a settlement known as Wilson's Hill developed on the site. The settlement's location at almost the exact center of Alabama meant it was considered one of the potential sites for the University of Alabama. In an attempt to encourage the university to choose the site the settlement changed its name to Montevallo, which is Italian for the hill in the valley.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Montevallo AL
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Top Interior Design Courses. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Montevallo AL.
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