How to Select the Right Interior Designer College near Fenwick Island Delaware
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Fenwick Island DE, 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 important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital 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 training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Fenwick Island DE can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room 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 dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Fenwick Island DE interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Fenwick Island DE. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Delaware trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Fenwick Island DE homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, 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 distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Fenwick Island DE home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Fenwick Island DE employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Fenwick Island DE school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Delaware or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Fenwick Island DE business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Fenwick Island DE schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Fenwick Island DE colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fenwick Island home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fenwick Island DE, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Courses Open University Fenwick Island DE
Choosing the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors 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 Interior Design Courses Open University and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Masters Degree. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fenwick Island DE.
Other Delaware Designer Locations
Fenwick Island, Delaware
Fenwick Island is a coastal town in Sussex County, Delaware, USA. According to 2010 census figures, the population of the town is 379, a 10.8% increase over the last decade. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town is located on Fenwick Island, a barrier spit.
Fenwick Island and its neighbors to the north, Bethany Beach and South Bethany are popularly known as "The Quiet Resorts". This is in contradiction to the wild atmosphere of Dewey Beach and the cosmopolitan bustle of Rehoboth Beach. Fenwick Island, however, is somewhat less "quiet" than "the Bethanies" because it is immediately across the state line from Ocean City, Maryland, which has a reputation as a lively vacation resort.
Named after Thomas Fenwick, a planter from England who settled in Maryland, Fenwick Island lay in the part of Delaware which was claimed by Lord Baltimore and his heirs during the Penn-Baltimore border dispute.
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