How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Spanish Fork Utah
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Spanish Fork UT, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Spanish Fork UT can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Spanish Fork UT interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Spanish Fork UT. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Utah vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The 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”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Spanish Fork UT homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent option 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 convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure 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 programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Spanish Fork UT residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 an extensive assessment 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Spanish Fork UT employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare 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 some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Spanish Fork UT program you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Utah or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Spanish Fork UT business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Spanish Fork UT schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller 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 Spanish Fork UT colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Spanish Fork home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Spanish Fork UT, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Becoming An Interior Designer Spanish Fork UT
Picking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Becoming An Interior Designer and wanted more info on the topic Colleges With Good Interior Design Programs. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools 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 Spanish Fork UT.
Other Utah Designer Locations
Spanish Fork, Utah
The city is in the Utah Valley with the Wasatch Range to the east and Utah Lake to the northwest. I-15 passes the northwest side of the city. Payson is about six miles to the southwest, Springville lies about four miles to the northeast, and Salem almost shares a border.
Spanish Fork was settled in 1851 by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of the Mormon Pioneers' settlement of Utah Territory. Its name derives from a visit to the area by two Franciscan friars from Spain, Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Domínguez in 1776, who followed the stream down Spanish Fork canyon with the objective of opening a new trail from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Spanish missions in California, along a route later followed by fur trappers. They described the area inhabited by Native Americans as having "spreading meadows, where there is sufficient irrigable land for two good settlements. Over and above these finest of advantages, it has plenty of firewood and timber in the adjacent sierra which surrounds its many sheltered spots, waters, and pasturages, for raising cattle and sheep and horses."
In 1851, some settlers led by William Pace set up scattered farms in the Spanish Fork bottom lands and called the area the Upper Settlement. However, a larger group congregated at what became known as the Lower Settlement just over a mile northwest of the present center of Spanish Fork along the Spanish Fork River. In December 1851, Stephen Markham, who was severely wounded outside Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois while attempting to defend Joseph Smith and other church leaders from a mob in 1844, became the president of the first church congregation (branch) at the Lower Settlement.
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