How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program Andalusia 36420
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Andalusia AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Andalusia AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Andalusia AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Andalusia AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for 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 technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Andalusia AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs 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 reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain 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 programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Andalusia AL home. Obviously 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 fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college 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 education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Andalusia AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Andalusia AL school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Andalusia AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Andalusia AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Andalusia AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Andalusia home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Andalusia AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Andalusia AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Andalusia Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Andalusia was first settled in 1841 after flooding of the Conecuh River and the surrounding lowlands forced citizens to move to higher ground. The county seat was moved from Montezuma to Andalusia in 1844. The new town was originally called "New Site" but was known as Andalusia by the time a post office was established in 1846.
Andalusia, likely got its name from Spanish explorers or settlers since the land where the town is located was part of Spanish Florida until Pinckney's Treaty in 1795. Prior to this treaty, the Spanish Empire claimed all land up to 32.22 degrees north, which would include present day Andalusia which is at 31.31 degrees north. Andalusia shares the name of Andalusia, a large southern autonomous community of Spain.
Andalusia is located slightly northwest of the center of Covington County at 31°18′N 86°29′W / 31.300°N 86.483°W / 31.300; -86.483 (31.309, -86.479). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.3 km2), of which 19.7 square miles (50.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.79%, is water.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Andalusia AL
Picking the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Best Interior Design Schools. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Andalusia AL.
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