How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Program near Albertville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Albertville AL, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper 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 preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account 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 cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design 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 possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Albertville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically 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 Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus 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 emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Albertville AL interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Albertville AL. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest 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 furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the comfort of their Albertville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed 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 programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Albertville AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Albertville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Albertville AL program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Albertville AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Albertville AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Albertville AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Albertville home, visit 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Albertville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Online School Interior Design Albertville AL
Selecting the right interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online School Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Education. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Albertville AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
The area which today includes Albertville was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians until their removal to Oklahoma in the 1830s. It was, however, near the territory of the Creek nation, and several major trails which afforded communication (or military action) between the two nations crossed the area. It is believed to have been crossed by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto during his expeditions in 1540.
The first non-indigenous settlement in what is today Albertville began in the 1850s, and the settlement was named for Thomas A. Albert, an early settler who moved from Georgia and was a town leader until his death in 1876. The city was incorporated in 1891. A post office was established in 1910.
At about 4:10 p.m. on April 24, 1908, the city was virtually wiped out by a tornado that became commonly called "The Great Cyclone," or "The Cyclone of 1908." The storm is believed to have killed 35 people across northeastern Alabama, including 15 in Albertville. Relief was largely delivered by railroad, particularly from the nearby city of Gadsden. Trains from Gadsden transported doctors, nurses, and the Queen City Guards, the Alabama militia company based in Gadsden. The commander of the latter, future Gadsden mayor and Col. R.A. Mitchell, reported in a dispatch to Governor B.B. Comer:
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