How to Find the Right Interior Design Program Foley 36535
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Foley 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 spaces, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Foley AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily 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 emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Foley AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Foley AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to study in the convenience of their Foley AL homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added 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 as well. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Foley AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things 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 address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Foley AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Foley AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
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 looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Foley AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Foley AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Foley AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Foley home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy 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 Foley AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Foley AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Foley Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Foley is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. The 2010 census lists the population of the city as 14,618. Foley is a principal city of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Baldwin County.
Foley was named for its founder, John B. Foley of Chicago.As Foley was traveling to President McKinley's funeral in 1901, he met a railroad agent who told him of the area in South Baldwin County. Foley came down the following year, and he liked what he saw and bought up to between 40,000 acres (160 km2) and 50,000 acres (200 km2) of land. He then returned to Chicago and formed the Magnolia Land Company. As he began to sell off acreage, he realized the need for a better way for the people to come to Foley.
Foley used some of his own money to lay the rails so the train could come from Bay Minette. The first railroad station was built in 1905. The original station burned in 1908 and was replaced the following year by the station that is now the City's museum. John Foley donated parcels of land for a school and churches. These included the current Catholic Church, Saint Margaret of Scotland, the Baptist church and the Methodist church. The first train to service Foley was a wood burner called the "Pine Knot Special." It would leave Foley in the morning and make a return trip in the afternoon. As people cleared the land, they would place lighter knots in a wood box for the engineer to use as was needed. Foley was incorporated in 1915 with G. I. Weatherly serving as its first mayor.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Foley AL
Picking the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify 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 Classes To Take For Interior Design. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Foley AL.
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