How to Select the Right Interior Design School West Chicago 60185
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near West Chicago IL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 options are offered.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in West Chicago IL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, West Chicago IL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in West Chicago IL. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of 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 accreditation benefits later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Illinois community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their West Chicago IL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are working 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 practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. 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 obtain 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 setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your West Chicago IL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in 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 a rigorous evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of West Chicago IL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the West Chicago IL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Illinois or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of West Chicago IL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the West Chicago IL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately 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 personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the West Chicago IL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your West Chicago home, go to the college and monitor 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near West Chicago IL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near West Chicago IL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the West Chicago Illinois area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
West Chicago, Illinois
West Chicago is a city in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. The population was 27,086 at the 2010 census. It was formerly named Junction and later Turner, after its founder, John B. Turner, president of the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad (G&CU) in 1855. The city was initially established around the first junction of railroad lines in Illinois, and today is still served by the Union Pacific / West Metra service via West Chicago station.
According to the 2010 census, West Chicago has a total area of 15.141 square miles (39.22 km2), of which 14.8 square miles (38.33 km2) (or 97.75%) is land and 0.341 square miles (0.88 km2) (or 2.25%) is water.
Erastus Gary, of Pomfret, Connecticut homesteaded 760 acres (310 ha) on the banks of the DuPage River, just south of West Chicago's present day city limits in the 1830s. His son became "Judge" Elbert Henry Gary, the first CEO of America's first billion-dollar corporation, U.S. Steel, and for whom Gary, Indiana, is named. Gary also helped bring brothers Jesse and Warren Wheaton, founders of nearby Wheaton, Illinois, the DuPage County seat, from Connecticut to the Midwest. A pioneer cemetery on the old Gary Homestead, where a sawmill had been built by the Garys, just north of Gary's Mill Road, and north of its terminus at Illinois Route 59, was built over with apartment buildings in the 1960s.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near West Chicago IL
Choosing the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Schools With Interior Design Majors. But it is still imperative 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 effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Chicago IL.
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