How to Pick the Right Interior Design School Stockton Springs 04981
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Stockton Springs ME, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires 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 trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Stockton Springs ME can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers 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 concepts, Stockton Springs ME interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Stockton Springs ME. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in 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 take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many Maine 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 deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business 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 design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use 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 sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For students who to study in the convenience of their Stockton Springs ME homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer 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 cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Stockton Springs ME home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Stockton Springs ME 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 get 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the Stockton Springs ME school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine 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 no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Stockton Springs ME business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Stockton Springs ME schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Stockton Springs ME colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Stockton Springs home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Stockton Springs ME, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Stockton Springs ME?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Stockton Springs Maine area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Stockton Springs, Maine
Stockton Springs is a town in Waldo County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,591 at the 2010 census. Stockton Springs is home to Fort Point State Park and Fort Point Light, both located on Fort Point, a peninsula on Cape Jellison.
Part of the Waldo Patent, it was first settled about 1759, the year Governor Thomas Pownall completed Fort Pownall on Fort Point. The defense was intended to guard the mouth of the Penobscot River estuary during the French and Indian War. Fort Pownall was burned in 1775 and 1779 by the British themselves, to prevent it from falling into the hands of American rebels.
On February 29, 1794, the area was incorporated as part of Prospect, but then set off and incorporated as a town on March 13, 1857, named Stockton after a port in England. In 1859, businesses included four sawmills, three shingle mills, two lath mills, one carding machine, one cloth-dressing mill, one tannery, four shipyards, six blacksmith shops, and several mechanic shops. By 1886, it also had a shoe factory, cheese factory, a door, sash and blind factory, cask and barrel makers, and a clothing factory. On February 5, 1889, the town's name was changed to Stockton Springs in anticipation of bottling local spring water. When sediment was discovered in the bottles, however, the plan was abandoned.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Stockton Springs ME
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design College Classes. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Stockton Springs ME.
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