How to Select the Right Interior Design College near Millbrook Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Millbrook AL, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s very important that you do the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must 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 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 offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training 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 work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Millbrook AL may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Millbrook AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training needed to begin your new career in Millbrook AL. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs 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 technical and creative components of the business needed 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 supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Millbrook AL homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. 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 problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure 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 online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Millbrook AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Millbrook AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Millbrook AL college you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Millbrook AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Millbrook AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Millbrook AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Millbrook home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Millbrook AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Best Online Interior Design Schools Millbrook AL
Picking the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Best Online Interior Design Schools and wanted more info on the topic Online Schools For Interior Design. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Millbrook AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
The area's first permanent home "Ellerslie" was completed in 1818 by Georgia Congressman, and Revolutionary War Veteran Bolling Hall. The area's second permanent home "Thornfield" was started the following year, and completed in 1820 by pioneer Archibald McKeithen. Both homes still stand, and are private residences.
After its initial settlement, Robinson Springs was known as an early summer resort for wealthy families of Montgomery, and the vicinity. The Robinson Springs United Methodist Church was formed in 1828. The settlers quickly grew out of the log structure, and decided to build a permanent structure. The present church was completed in 1848. The parsonage was sold soon after completion (due to the lack of a steady minister) to noted Alabama historian Albert J. Pickett. It still stands two doors down from the church. In 1852, Robinson Springs played host to Alabama's first state fair.
Shadrack Mims, Autauga's early historian, describes Robinson Springs (circa 1850) as "a spot selected by Todd Robinson as a retreat from the river; and much good sense did he show in such selection - for, if the whole South was searched over, a more healthy spot, in my opinion, could not be found. It is altogether rural in its appearance, the forest growth being untouched, only for garden spots. As to water, it cannot be excelled any where for coolness, clearness, and pleasantness, and the abundance of it. The building situations are beautiful. Upon the whole, it is just the place for a summer retreat; just the place for a school - healthy and high, and free from the temptations so common in villages and cities."
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