How to Find the Right Interior Design School near Henagar Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Henagar AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? Many potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Henagar AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Henagar AL interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Henagar AL. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment 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 facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs 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 typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Henagar AL homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Henagar AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Henagar AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Henagar AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Henagar AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Henagar AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Henagar AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Henagar home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Henagar AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Graduate Interior Design Programs Henagar AL
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Graduate Interior Design Programs and wanted more info on the topic Top Interior Design Schools. However it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Henagar AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Henagar was first settled circa 1855. The town is named after an early settler, George Henegar. A post office was established in 1878. It was then that a postal official misspelled the town's name as "Henagar". In 1901, a public school was built. Henagar incorporated in 1965.
Henagar is located in northern DeKalb County at 34°38′1″N 85°44′35″W / 34.63361°N 85.74306°W / 34.63361; -85.74306 (34.633700, -85.742921). Its northwest border follows the Jackson County line.
Alabama State Route 40 passes through the original center of town, leading east 8 miles (13 km) to Interstate 59 in Hammondville and west 19 miles (31 km) to Scottsboro. Alabama State Route 75 crosses AL 40 in the newer commercial part of Henagar and leads northeast 8 miles (13 km) to Ider and southwest 10 miles (16 km) to Rainsville.
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