How to Find the Right Interior Design College near Elrod Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Elrod AL, it’s time to start the process of picking 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 skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the level of training 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 necessitates 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 living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Elrod AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of 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 may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Elrod AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training required to begin your new career in Elrod AL. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required 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. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Elrod AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great option 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 programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Elrod AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design school and program 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Elrod AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Elrod AL program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Elrod AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Elrod AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Elrod AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Elrod home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Elrod AL, make sure 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, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Schools That Offer Interior Design Elrod AL
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several things to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Schools That Offer Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design College Requirements. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Elrod AL.
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USS Elrod (FFG-55)
USS Elrod (FFG-55), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, is a ship of the United States Navy named after Captain Henry T. Elrod (1905–1941), a Marine aviator who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the defense of Wake Island in World War II.
The ship was originally home ported in Charleston, SC and shifted to Norfolk, VA in March 1995. Elrod has completed five deployments to the Persian Gulf, three to the Mediterranean Sea, and one to the Adriatic Sea, and has participated in numerous operations in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Caribbean Sea.
Elrod was laid down on 21 November 1983 at Bath, Maine, by Bath Iron Works; launched on 12 May 1984; sponsored by Mrs. Norma J. McDonald, wife of Admiral Wesley L. McDonald, Commander Atlantic Fleet and Commander Atlantic Command; and commissioned on 18 May 1985, Commander Richard W. Moore in command.
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