How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program Calabasas 91302
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Calabasas CA, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working 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 various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Calabasas CA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Calabasas CA interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new profession in Calabasas CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide 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 some 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 furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their Calabasas CA homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Calabasas CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design program and school that you select 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Calabasas CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Calabasas CA college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering 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 profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Calabasas CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Calabasas CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Calabasas CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Calabasas home, visit 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Calabasas CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. 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 Calabasas CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Calabasas California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Calabasas is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States, located in the hills west of the San Fernando Valley and in the northwest Santa Monica Mountains between Woodland Hills, Agoura Hills, West Hills, Hidden Hills, and Malibu, California. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 23,058, up from 20,033 at the 2000 census. The city was formally incorporated in 1991.
It is generally accepted that the name of Calabasas is derived from the Spanish calabaza meaning "pumpkin", "squash", or "gourd" (cf. calabash). Some historians hold the theory that Calabasas is derived from the Chumash word calahoosa which is said to mean "where the wild geese fly." Owing to vast presence of wild squash plants in the area, the squash theory is more prevalent among local residents. At the top of the Calabasas grade, which is east of Las Virgenes Road on the original El Camino Real, legend has it that in 1824, a Basque rancher from Oxnard spilled a wagonload of pumpkins on the road en route to Los Angeles. The following spring, hundreds of pumpkin seeds sprouted alongside the road. The area was named Las Calabasas—the place where the pumpkins fell.
In honor of its namesake, the City of Calabasas and the Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hold an annual Pumpkin Festival in October, including carnival games, exhibits, demonstrations, and live entertainment. The festival has evolved from a small-town fair to a significant annual event. Though the current Pumpkin Festival is held at Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Calabasas, the original festival was believed to have taken place where the traveling wagon carrying pumpkins overturned and started the area's first pumpkin patch.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Calabasas CA
Selecting the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Certificate Online. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calabasas CA.
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