How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program Augusta 72006
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Augusta AR, it’s time to start the process of selecting 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 a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Augusta AR can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized 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, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Augusta AR interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Augusta AR. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select 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 addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish 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 professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Augusta AR homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be an excellent solution 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 laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Augusta AR residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Augusta AR employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Augusta AR college you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out 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 graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Augusta AR business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Augusta AR colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Augusta AR colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Augusta home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Augusta AR, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Augusta AR?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Augusta Arkansas area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Augusta is a city in Woodruff County, Arkansas, United States, located on the east bank of the White River. The population was 2,693 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Woodruff County.
Augusta is located at 35°17′11″N 91°21′39″W / 35.28639°N 91.36083°W / 35.28639; -91.36083 (35.286501, -91.360935). Augusta is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) northeast of Little Rock and 81 miles (130 km) west of Memphis, Tennessee.[Note 1] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all land.
Augusta is located in the Arkansas Delta, one of the six primary geographic regions of Arkansas. The Arkansas Delta is a subregion of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, which is a flat area consisting of rich, fertile sediment deposits from the Mississippi River between Louisiana and Illinois. Prior to settlement, Woodruff County was densely forested, with bayous, sloughs, and swamps crossing the land. Seeking to take advantage of the area's fertile soils, settlers cleared the land to better suit row crops.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Augusta AR
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Schools. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented 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 desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Augusta AR.
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