How to Select the Right Interior Design School Geneva 36340
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Geneva AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained 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 Geneva AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Geneva AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Geneva AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate 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 attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional 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 an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Geneva AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent 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 home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges 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. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Geneva AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Geneva AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Geneva AL school you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Geneva AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Geneva AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Geneva AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Geneva home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Geneva AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Geneva AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Geneva Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Geneva County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1875. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1940, it has been the largest city of Geneva County, and had a population of 4,452 as of the 2010 census.
In late December 1862, the stern-wheel steamship Bloomer was in port on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva. She was captured by a group of Union troops from the 91st New York Volunteers led by Lieutenant James H. Stewart. The Bloomer was then taken to Pensacola, Florida.
Geneva is located south of the center of Geneva County at 31°2′17″N 85°52′36″W / 31.03806°N 85.87667°W / 31.03806; -85.87667 (31.038181, -85.876677), at the confluence of the Pea River with the Choctawhatchee River. Alabama State Route 52 passes through the city north of downtown, leading northeast 11 miles (18 km) to Hartford and northwest 12 miles (19 km) to Samson. Dothan is 34 miles (55 km) to the northeast via Route 52. Alabama State Route 27 passes through the center of Geneva, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to Enterprise and southwest 5 miles (8 km) to the Florida border.
Find the Right Interior Design School near Geneva AL
Picking the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Degree Programs. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Geneva AL.
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