How to Find the Right Interior Design College Thomasville 36784
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Thomasville AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive 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 could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Thomasville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Thomasville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Thomasville AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals 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, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily 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 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Thomasville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the only 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 study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Thomasville AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Thomasville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Thomasville AL college you select should also furnish the suitable training 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Thomasville AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Thomasville AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive 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 minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Thomasville AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Thomasville home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Thomasville AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Thomasville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Thomasville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,209. Founded as a late 19th-century railroad town, it has transitioned over the course of more than a century into a 21st-century commercial hub. It is the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham.
Thomasville was founded in 1888 and incorporated on November 24 of that year. The former community of Choctaw Corner, dating back to the antebellum period, was a settlement west of what would become Thomasville, but when the merchants there learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The former community is now inside the city limits. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. First referred to as "Choctaw", the town was named after railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas, after he donated $500 for the construction of Thomasville's first school. The town had expanded by the end of the 19th century with numerous stores, several hotels and boarding houses, and a depot station. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and was once again flourishing by the start of World War I.
Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. Over the years, many businesses came and others left. These included garment factories, sawmills, and cotton gins. The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families. The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. This time also saw businesses begin to relocate from downtown to the main highway. The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999 by the National Register of Historic Places.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Thomasville AL
Selecting the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design College Courses. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Thomasville AL.
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