How to Pick the Best Interior Designer School near Lenox Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Lenox AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Lenox AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- 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 meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Lenox AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new profession in Lenox AL. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Lenox AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online programs 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 conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Lenox AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Lenox AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Lenox AL school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama 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 want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Lenox AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Lenox AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Lenox AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Lenox home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Lenox AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Design Course Requirements Lenox AL
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Course Requirements and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Classes Online. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs 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 Lenox AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Lenox Avenue – also named Malcolm X Boulevard; both names are officially recognized – is the primary north–south route through Harlem in the upper portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan. This two-way street runs from Farmers' Gate at Central Park North (110th Street) to 147th Street. Its traffic is figuratively described as "Harlem's heartbeat" by Langston Hughes in his poem Juke Box Love Song. The IRT Lenox Avenue Line runs under the entire length of the street, serving the New York City Subway's 2 and 3 trains.
The avenue was the heart of Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s. The street brought together African Americans, Latinos, British West Indians, and Spaniards who developed relationships over common interests such as jazz and food. In 1932, Harlem was so firmly established as the world capital of jazz and African-American culture in general that "black cinema" films like Harlem Is Heaven were playing on the nation's big screens. Jazz flourished and grew like it could have in no other time and place. "You might have had 15 great clubs on one block, all going at once," said the trombonist and bandleader Wycliffe Gordon. "Imagine going into a joint to check out Willie 'The Lion' Smith, and sitting next to you are Duke Ellington and James P. Johnson." Lenox Avenue is thought by some to be one of the most important streets in the world for African American culture.
The Savoy Ballroom was located between 140th and 141st Streets on Lenox Avenue. Other historical venues of Lenox Avenue are Sylvia's Restaurant, located between 126th and 127th; and the Lenox Lounge, located between 124th and 125th.
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