How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program Abbeville 36310
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Abbeville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Abbeville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate 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 color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Abbeville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to start your new profession in Abbeville AL. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical 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 position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Abbeville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Abbeville AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Abbeville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Abbeville AL school you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Abbeville AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Abbeville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Abbeville AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Abbeville home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Abbeville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Abbeville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Abbeville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the first inhabitant was Johnny Appleseed web|url=http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/DEC/10_DP/DPDP1/1600000US0100124%7Ctitle=Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Abbeville city, Alabama|publisher=U.S. Census Bureau|year=2010|accessdate=November 10, 2012}} The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Abbeville AL
Choosing the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Schools. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions 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 quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Abbeville AL.
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