How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Dutton Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Dutton AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of 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 some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Dutton AL may 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Dutton AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to start your new career in Dutton AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Dutton AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, 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 learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Dutton AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Dutton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Dutton AL school you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Dutton AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Dutton AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Dutton AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Dutton home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dutton AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Associates Degree Interior Design Dutton AL
Picking the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Associates Degree Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Accredited Interior Design Colleges. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Dutton AL.
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Charles S. Dutton
Charles Stanley Dutton (born January 30, 1951) is an American stage, film, and television actor and director, best known for his roles as "Fortune" in the film Rudy, "Dillon" in Alien 3, and the title role in the television sitcom Roc which originally ran on the Fox network from 1991 until 1994.
Dutton was born January 30, 1951, on the East side of Baltimore, Maryland. His father was a truck driver. In his youth, Dutton dropped out of school before finishing middle school. He had a short-lived stint as an amateur boxer with the nickname "Roc." When he was 17, he got into a fight which resulted in the death of a man Dutton claimed had attacked him. Dutton was convicted of manslaughter, and spent seven years in prison.
Several months into his second prison term, Dutton was sentenced to six days of solitary confinement, which allowed prisoners to take one book. By accident, he grabbed an anthology of black playwrights. He enjoyed the plays so much that, upon his release from confinement, he petitioned the warden to start a drama group for the Christmas talent show. The warden agreed on the condition that Dutton go back to school and get his GED. Dutton accomplished that and went on to eventually complete a two-year college program at Hagerstown Junior College (now Hagerstown Community College) in Hagerstown, Maryland, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in 1976. Upon his release, he enrolled as a drama major at Towson State University (now known as Towson University) in the Baltimore suburb of Towson, Maryland, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1978. After his time at Towson, Dutton earned a master's degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama in 1983.
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