How to Pick the Right Interior Designer Program Providence 02901
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Providence 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 imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Providence RI may specialize in:
- Residential Design. 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Providence RI interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Providence RI. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Rhode Island community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business needed 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 two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically 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 schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Providence RI homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Providence RI home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things 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 colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Providence RI employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Providence RI school you choose should also provide the proper 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Providence RI business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Providence RI schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Providence RI schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Providence home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Providence RI, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Providence RI?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Providence Rhode Island area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Providence, Rhode Island
Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.
Providence was one of the first cities in the country to industrialize and became noted for its textile manufacturing and subsequent machine tool, jewelry, and silverware industries. Today, the city of Providence is home to eight hospitals and seven institutions of higher learning which have shifted the city's economy into service industries, though it still retains some manufacturing activity. The city was once nicknamed the "Beehive of Industry"; it began rebranding itself as the "Creative Capital" in 2009 to emphasize its educational resources and arts community.
Providence was settled in June 1636 by Roger Williams and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies. Williams and his company were compelled to leave Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Providence quickly became a refuge for persecuted religious dissenters, as Williams himself had been exiled from Massachusetts.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Providence RI
Picking the right interior designer program is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in What To Study For Interior Design. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Providence RI.
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