How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program near Wingate North Carolina
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Wingate NC, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require 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 very important that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Wingate NC may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Wingate NC interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Wingate NC. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous North Carolina trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt 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 required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Wingate NC homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting 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 as well. Just make sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Wingate NC home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 establish 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 available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Wingate NC employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Wingate NC program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for North Carolina or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Wingate NC business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Wingate NC colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Wingate NC programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Wingate home, visit the college and monitor a couple of 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wingate NC, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Online Interior Design Bachelors Degree Wingate NC
Picking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online Interior Design Bachelors Degree and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Class. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wingate NC.
Other North Carolina Designer Locations
Wingate University is an American "Judeo-Christian" university based over three campuses in Wingate, Charlotte, and Hendersonville, North Carolina. It was founded in 1896 and is affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
In 1896, Wingate University began as 'The Wingate School,' a primary and secondary institution founded by the Baptist Associations of Union County, North Carolina and Chesterfield County, South Carolina in response to a dearth of locally-available public schools. The School took its name from Dr. Washington Manly Wingate, a former president of Wake Forest College, and continued to offer a primary and secondary education until the proliferation of public schools in the early 20th century.
In 1923, The Wingate School began offering the first two years of a baccalaureate education and became Wingate Junior College. The years leading to World War II were difficult for the institution. Though it began receiving financial support from The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina soon after becoming a college, this support was withdrawn during The Great Depression. It was also during this period, in 1932, that the college's administration building was destroyed by fire. The college survived, however, as a result of the work of its administration, faculty, and supporters as well as the post-WWII college enrollment boom. The Baptist State Convention resumed financial support in 1949, and Charles Cannon, a local businessman and philanthropist, began making substantial donations to the college beginning in the 1950s.
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