How to Choose the Right Interior Designer College Apple Valley 92307
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Apple Valley 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 interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many 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 spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Apple Valley CA may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Apple Valley CA interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in Apple Valley CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose 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 mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 programs are primarily for those professionals who wish 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 use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Apple Valley CA homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Apple Valley CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Apple Valley CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the Apple Valley CA school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Apple Valley CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Apple Valley CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Apple Valley CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Apple Valley home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Apple Valley CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Apple Valley California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Apple Valley, California
The Town of Apple Valley is located in the Victor Valley of San Bernardino County, in the U.S. state of California. It was incorporated on November 14, 1988, and is one of the twenty-two incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city." The town is east of and adjoining to the neighboring cities of Victorville and Hesperia, 35 miles (56 km) south of Barstow and 49 miles (79 km) north of San Bernardino through the Cajon Pass. The population was 69,135 at the 2010 census.
Apple Valley was home to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose museum was first established in Apple Valley (in 1967) before the museum was relocated to Victorville in 1976. Since 2003, the museum has been in Branson, Missouri. The move was made in hopes of reaching more fans; however, the museum closed for financial reasons on December 12, 2009.
Apple Valley is located at the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. It is bordered by the cities of Victorville on the west and Hesperia on the southwest sides, with the Census-Designated Place of Lucerne Valley a distance to the east and the city of Barstow c. 30 miles to the north. Apple Valley, in combination with Victorville, Hesperia, Adelanto and immediate surrounding areas, are commonly known as the Victor Valley. The primary thoroughfare through Apple Valley is State Route 18, which was given the moniker "Happy Trails Highway" within Apple Valley town limits, after the theme song of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who once resided on Outer Highway 18. The commercial area is split currently between State Route 18 and Bear Valley Road (the two roads are near parallel until they intersect in the east, outside of town). The Mojave River that borders the west side of Apple Valley flows south-to-north. The town is bounded on its southern edge by the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Apple Valley CA
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in What Colleges Offer Interior Design. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Apple Valley CA.
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