How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program Toccoa 30577
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Toccoa GA, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate 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 may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? Many prospective students will launch 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. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Toccoa GA may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal 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 hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Toccoa GA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Toccoa GA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at many Georgia vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Toccoa GA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick 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 earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Toccoa GA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Toccoa GA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Toccoa GA school you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Toccoa GA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Toccoa GA schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Toccoa GA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Toccoa home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Toccoa GA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Toccoa GA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Toccoa Georgia area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Toccoa is a city in, and the county seat of, Stephens County, Georgia, United States, located about 50 miles (80 km) from Athens and about 90 miles (140 km) northeast of Atlanta. The population was 8,491 as of the 2010 census.
Indian agent Col. George Chicken was one of the first people to mention Toccoa in his journal from 1725. The first residents of European descent were a small number of American Revolutionary War veterans led by Col. William H. Wofford who moved to the area when the war ended. The area was referred to as Wofford's Tract, or Wofford's Settlement. Col. Wofford is buried near Toccoa Falls. His son, William T. Wofford, was born near Toccoa (then part of Habersham County), and was an officer during the Mexican–American War and a general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War.
The Georgia Land Lottery of 1820 spurred the migration of Scots-Irish from North Carolina and the Georgia coast. The Georgia Gold Rush, starting in 1828, and the 1838 removal of the Cherokee on the infamous "Trail of Tears" further changed settlement patterns in the area.
Select the Right Interior Design School near Toccoa GA
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Best Interior Design Schools. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Toccoa GA.
More Designer Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 9