How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College Canoga Park 91303
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Canoga Park CA, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s very important that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask 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 training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Canoga Park CA may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Canoga Park CA interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Canoga Park CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically 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 aspects 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 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly 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 adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Canoga Park CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic 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 a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire 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 environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Canoga Park CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Canoga Park CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. 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 Canoga Park CA program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Canoga Park CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Canoga Park CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Canoga Park CA schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Canoga Park home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Canoga Park CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Canoga Park CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Canoga Park California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Canoga Park, Los Angeles
Canoga Park is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, United States. Its 60,000+ residents are considered to be "highly diverse" ethnically. Before the Mexican–American War, the district was part of a rancho, and after the American victory it was converted into wheat farms and then subdivided, with part of it named Owensmouth as a town founded in 1912. It joined Los Angeles in 1917 and was renamed Canoga Park on March 1, 1931, thanks to the efforts of local civic leader Mary Logan Orcutt.
The area of present-day Canoga Park was the homeland of Native Americans in the Tongva-Fernandeño and Chumash-Venturaño tribes, that lived in the Simi Hills and along to the tributaries of the Los Angeles River. They traded with the north Valley Tataviam-Fernandeño people. Native American civilizations inhabited the Valley for an estimated 8,000 years. Their culture left the Burro Flats Painted Cave nearby.
From 1797 to 1846 the area was part of Mission San Fernando Rey de España (Mission San Fernando). After the Mexican War of Independence from Spain the 'future Canoga Park' land became part of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1845, a land grant for the separate and historically rich Rancho El Escorpión was issued by Governor Pío Pico to three Chumash people, Odón Eusebia, his brother-in-law Urbano, and Urbano's son Mañuel. It was located in the area west of Fallbrook Avenue and later called Platt Ranch.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Canoga Park CA
Picking the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Bachelor Of Interior Design. However it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Canoga Park CA.
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