How to Select the Right Interior Design School Weston 26452
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Weston WV, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount 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 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 living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Weston WV may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must 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 create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Weston WV interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Weston WV. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous West Virginia vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain 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 creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees 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 professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Weston WV homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added 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 certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Weston WV home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Weston WV employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Weston WV school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for West Virginia or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Weston WV business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Weston WV colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Weston WV programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Weston home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Weston WV, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Weston WV?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Weston West Virginia area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Weston, West Virginia
Weston is a city in Lewis County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 4,110 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lewis County, and home to the West Virginia Museum of American Glass and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.
Weston is the site of the former Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a psychiatric hospital and National Historic Landmark which has been mostly vacant since its closure in 1994 upon its replacement by the nearby William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital. Jackson's Mill, a childhood home of Stonewall Jackson, is approximately four miles (6 km) north of Weston; it has been operated as a 4-H facility since the 1920s and is also the site of conference center operated by the West Virginia University Extension Service. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp Historic District.
Weston has two national historic districts: the Weston Downtown Historic District and Weston Downtown Residential Historic District. Other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places are the Jonathan M. Bennett House and the former Weston Colored School.
Select the Ideal Interior Design School near Weston WV
Selecting the right interior design college is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify 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 Home Interior Design Colleges. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Weston WV.
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