Interior Design Graduate School Aliso Viejo CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College Aliso Viejo 92656

interior designed Aliso Viejo CA family roomOnce you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Aliso Viejo CA, 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 essential that you obtain the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking 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 available.

Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

commercial interior designed Aliso Viejo CA conference roomOften people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business 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 trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Aliso Viejo CA may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Aliso Viejo CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.

Interior Design Degrees

interior designed kitchen in Aliso Viejo CAThere are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Aliso Viejo CA. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Classes

woman attending interior design school online in Aliso Viejo CAFor students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Aliso Viejo CA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working 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 programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Questions to ask Aliso Viejo CA interior design coursesOnce you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Aliso Viejo CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Aliso Viejo CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Aliso Viejo CA program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California 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 need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Aliso Viejo CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Aliso Viejo CA schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential 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 Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Aliso Viejo CA programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Aliso Viejo home, go to the campus and attend 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Aliso Viejo CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Aliso Viejo CA?

Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Aliso Viejo California area.  If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.

Aliso Viejo, California

Aliso Viejo is a city in the San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County, California. It had a population of 47,823 as of the 2010 census, up from 40,166 as of the 2000 census. It became Orange County's 34th city on July 1, 2001, the only city in Orange County to be incorporated since 2000. It is bordered by the cities of Laguna Beach on the west and southwest, Laguna Hills on the east, Laguna Niguel on the southeast, and Laguna Woods on the north.

The planned community of Aliso Viejo's original 6,600 acres were once part of the 26,000-acre Moulton Ranch, owned by the Moulton family, who took title in the 1890s to land originally granted to Juan Avila by the Mexican government in 1842. Over the years, portions of the ranch were sold and became Leisure World, Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel. In 1976, the Mission Viejo Company purchased the remaining 6,600 acres to create a new planned community – Aliso Viejo – with a master plan for 20,000 homes for a planned population of 50,000. The master plan was approved by the Orange County in 1979, and homes were first offered for sale in March 1982. Aliso Viejo's first family moved in that November. As part of the project, 2,600 acres were dedicated to Orange County as part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and 800 acres were set aside for local parks, recreation, schools and community facilities. The Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA) was set up to manage the local parks and community open space. It was the first community-wide association of its kind in California and has the unique ability to provide a full-range of community services and facilities.[8]

Aliso Viejo was the first planned community in California to plan a balance between the projected resident work force and the number of projected jobs within its borders. Pacific Park, the centrally located 900-acre business park and town center, was expected to ultimately provide more than 22,000 jobs. Every home in Aliso Viejo was located about 1 1/2 miles from Pacific Park, to encourage live-and-work opportunities.[8]

Find the Best Interior Design School near Aliso Viejo CA

Aliso Viejo CA interior designed bathroomChoosing the ideal interior design program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Graduate School. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly 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 reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Aliso Viejo CA.

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