How to Find the Right Interior Design College Lowell 72745
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Lowell AR, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics 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 training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Lowell AR may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have 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 concepts, Lowell AR interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new profession in Lowell AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain 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 several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Arkansas vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for 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 cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly 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 three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Lowell AR homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Lowell AR residence. 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 narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Lowell AR employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Lowell AR school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, 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 field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Lowell AR business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Lowell AR colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Lowell AR programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Lowell home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lowell AR, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Lowell AR?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Lowell Arkansas area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Lowell is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Ozarks, first settlement was along Old Wire Road in the 1840s, and although destroyed during the Civil War, the community was reestablished by J. H. McClure and thrived when the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway came through the area in the 1880s. Today, the city is a growing bedroom community within the rapidly growing Northwest Arkansas region. Lowell is also home to the headquarters of trucking company J.B. Hunt. Lowell's population was 7,327 at the 2010 census, an increase of 46% since 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Lowell has a total area of 9.2 square miles (23.9 km2), of which 9.2 square miles (23.7 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 0.68%, is water. Lowell is located in southern Benton County at 36°15′38″N 94°8′22″W / 36.26056°N 94.13944°W / 36.26056; -94.13944 (36.260429, -94.139570). It is bordered by the cities of Springdale and Bethel Heights to the south, Cave Springs to the west and Rogers to the north. 4 miles (6 km) to the east is Beaver Lake, a large reservoir of the White River.
The Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area consists of three Arkansas counties: Benton, Madison, and Washington, and McDonald County, Missouri. The area had a population of 347,045 at the 2000 census which had increased to 463,204 by the 2010 Census (an increase of 33.47 per cent). The area does not consist of the usual principal-city-with-suburbs morphology; instead the four principal cities are all located along Interstate 49 in a linear configuration. Lowell is also located along this corridor, between Springdale and Rogers.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Lowell AR
Picking the right interior design program is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Courses University. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Lowell AR.
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