Category Archives: Colorado

Best Colleges For Interior Design Westcliffe CO

How to Select the Right Interior Designer Course Westcliffe 81252

interior designed Westcliffe CO family roomOnce you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Westcliffe CO, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 Decoration vs Interior Design

commercial interior designed Westcliffe CO conference roomSome people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Westcliffe CO may specialize in:

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

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Westcliffe CO interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.

Interior Designer Degree Programs

interior designed kitchen in Westcliffe COThere are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to launch your new career in Westcliffe CO. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief 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 profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Colorado vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Online Interior Designer Classes

woman attending interior design school online in Westcliffe COFor students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Westcliffe CO homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic 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 some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire 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 environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Questions to ask Westcliffe CO interior design coursesWhen you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Westcliffe CO home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Westcliffe CO employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Westcliffe CO program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask 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 trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Westcliffe CO business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Westcliffe CO schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Westcliffe CO colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Westcliffe home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Westcliffe CO, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Westcliffe CO?

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

Westcliffe, Colorado

Westcliffe is located west of the geographic center of Custer County at 38°7′58″N 105°27′57″W / 38.13278°N 105.46583°W / 38.13278; -105.46583 (38.132874, -105.465920).[12] It lies in the Wet Mountain Valley, between the Wet Mountains to the east and the Sangre de Cristo Range to the west. The town of Silver Cliff is immediately to the east of Westcliffe.

Westcliffe, and neighboring Silver Cliff, Colorado are recognized as IDA International Dark Sky Communities by The International Dark-Sky Association. Gentle persuasion has resulted in residents and business in the towns and surrounding ranch land reducing the amount of light pollution.[13]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 417 people, 194 households, and 108 families residing in the town. The population density was 367.1 people per square mile (141.2/km²). There were 246 housing units at an average density of 216.6 per square mile (83.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.44% White, 1.92% Native American, 0.24% Asian, and 2.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.16% of the population.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Westcliffe CO

Westcliffe CO interior designed bathroomSelecting the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify 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 Best Colleges For Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions 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 desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Westcliffe CO.

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