Category Archives: Rhode Island

Top Interior Design Graduate Programs Riverside RI

How to Select the Right Interior Design Program Riverside 02915

interior designed Riverside RI family roomNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Riverside RI, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools 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 considered also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

commercial interior designed Riverside RI conference roomOften people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Riverside RI can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally 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 banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Riverside RI interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.

Interior Designer Training Programs

interior designed kitchen in Riverside RIThere are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Riverside RI. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Rhode Island community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Degree Programs

woman attending interior design school online in Riverside RIFor those who wish to study in the comfort of their Riverside RI homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a respected 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 education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Questions to ask Riverside RI interior design coursesAfter you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Riverside RI home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Riverside RI employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Riverside RI school you choose should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Rhode Island or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Riverside RI business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Riverside RI schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Riverside RI programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Riverside home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Riverside RI, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Riverside RI?

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

Riverside, Rhode Island

Riverside is a suburban neighborhood of Providence. Adjoining Riverside are the town of Barrington in Bristol County to the south, Narragansett Bay to the west, the rest of East Providence to the north, and the Runnins River and Seekonk, Massachusetts to the east.

Riverside most notably became a tourist attraction in the late 19th and early 20th century due to the presence of Crescent Park Amusement Park, known as the “Coney Island of the East”. The 50 acre park operated from 1886 until 1979, and was famous for its Rhode Island Shore Dinners as well as the Alhambra Ballroom, where famous Big Bands played, and the bustling midway which included roller coasters, kiddie land, rides and games. Although the park in now gone, the famous 1895 Crescent Park Looff Carousel has been preserved and continues in operation every summer. The Carousel is nationally recognized as a true masterpiece of wood sculpture. Originally built as a showcase for prospective buyers, it is the largest and most elaborate of Looff's works.[2]

Many hotels, guest houses and shore dinner halls operated in Riverside in the late 19th century to accommodate the influx of summer visitors escaping the big city. Also available were several tent sites like Camp White and Camp Fuller. The Vue de l'Eau Hotel was built around 1860. The four-story Riverside Hotel boasted its own wharf and a huge ballroom overlooking the bay. After a few years, it was dismantled and shipped by barge to Nantucket. Pomham House opened in 1867 with its own wharf. The popular Silver Spring Hotel was opened two years later by developer, Hiram Maxfield. In addition to the hotel, it included a shore dinner hall and summer cottages.

Find the Right Interior Design School near Riverside RI

Riverside RI interior designed bathroomChoosing the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check 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 Top Interior Design Graduate Programs. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Riverside RI.

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