How to Pick the Right Interior Design Program West Memphis 72301
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near West Memphis AR, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those issues 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 class options are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in West Memphis AR may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus 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 focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, West Memphis AR interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new career in West Memphis AR. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arkansas vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their West Memphis AR homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your West Memphis AR residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design 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 agency. One of the most respected in the field 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 instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of West Memphis AR employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination 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. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the West Memphis AR school you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out 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 field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of West Memphis AR business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the West Memphis AR colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the West Memphis AR colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your West Memphis home, go to the school and sit in on 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Memphis AR, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near West Memphis AR?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the West Memphis Arkansas area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
Find the Best Interior Design School near West Memphis AR
Picking the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges With Interior Design Programs. However it is still important that you conduct 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 schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Memphis AR.
More Designer Locations in Arkansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 18