How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Somerville Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Somerville AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial 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 alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Somerville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance 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 meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Somerville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Somerville AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Somerville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Somerville AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Somerville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Somerville AL college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. 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 high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Somerville AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Somerville AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Somerville AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Somerville home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Somerville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
College Interior Design Somerville AL
Picking the right interior designer school is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in College Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Certificate Of Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Somerville AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Somerville is a town in Morgan County, Alabama, United States. It is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 724, up from 347.
Somerville was the county seat of Morgan County from 1818 to 1891, when the seat was moved to Decatur. The town was named for Robert M. Summerville, an officer killed in 1814 during the Creek Indian War. Initially incorporated on December 3, 1819, it is a few days older than the state. After its loss of the county seat in the 1890s, its incorporation lapsed. It was reorganized (reincorporated) on December 1, 1955.
As of the census of 2000, there were 347 people, 148 households, and 97 families residing in the town. The population density was 339.9 people per square mile (131.4/km²). There were 160 housing units at an average density of 156.7 per square mile (60.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.35% White, 5.76% Black or African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.29% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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