How to Select the Right Interior Designer College Stratton 04982
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Stratton ME, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Stratton ME can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Stratton ME interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Stratton ME. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Maine community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Stratton ME homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Stratton ME residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design college 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Stratton ME employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Stratton ME program you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Stratton ME business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Stratton ME colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Stratton ME programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Stratton home, visit the college and attend a few 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Stratton ME, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Stratton ME?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Stratton Maine area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
General Tom Thumb
Charles Sherwood Stratton (January 4, 1838 – July 15, 1883), better known by his stage name "General Tom Thumb", was a dwarf who achieved great fame as a performer under circus pioneer P.T. Barnum.
Stratton was the son of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, carpenter named Sherwood Edward Stratton, son of Seth Sherwood Stratton and Amy Sharpe. Sherwood married his first cousin Cynthia Thompson, daughter of Joseph Thompson and Mary Ann Sharpe. Charles Stratton's maternal and paternal grandmothers, Amy and Mary Ann Sharpe, were stated to be small twin girls born on July 11, 1781/83 in Oxford, New Haven, Connecticut.
Born in Bridgeport to parents who were of medium height, Charles was a relatively large baby, weighing 9 pounds 8 ounces (4.3 kg) at birth. He developed and grew normally for the first six months of his life, at which point he was 25 inches (64 cm) tall and weighed 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Then he suddenly stopped growing. His parents became concerned when, after his first birthday, they noticed he had not grown at all in the previous six months. They showed him to their doctor, who said there was little chance Charles would ever reach normal height.
Choose the Best Interior Design School near Stratton ME
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Classes To Take For Interior Design. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance 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 right final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Stratton ME.
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