How to Pick the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Ardmore Alabama
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Ardmore AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other vital 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 offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education 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 living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Ardmore AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality 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 primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Ardmore AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in Ardmore AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose 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 brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business 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 two year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Ardmore AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Ardmore AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Ardmore AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Ardmore AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Ardmore AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Ardmore AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Ardmore AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Ardmore home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Ardmore AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Undergraduate Courses Ardmore AL
Choosing the ideal interior design school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Undergraduate Courses and wanted more info on the topic Best Interior Design Colleges. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided 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 drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ardmore AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Ardmore is a business, cultural, and tourism city in and the county seat of Carter County, Oklahoma, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 24,283, with an estimated population of 24,950 in 2013. The Ardmore micropolitan statistical area had an estimated population of 48,491 in 2013. Ardmore is 90 miles (140 km) from both Oklahoma City and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 70, and is generally considered the hub of the ten-county region of South Central Oklahoma, also known by state tourism pamphlets as "Chickasaw Country" and previously "Lake and Trail Country". It is also a part of the Texoma region. Ardmore is situated about 9 miles (14 km) south of the Arbuckle Mountains and is located at the eastern margin of the Healdton Basin, one of the most oil-rich regions of the United States.
Ardmore was named after the affluent Philadelphia suburb and historic PRR Main Line stop of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, which was named after Ardmore in County Waterford, Ireland, by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1873. The name "Ardmore" is Irish for high grounds or hills.
Ardmore, Indian Territory, began with a plowed ditch for a Main Street in the summer of 1887 in Pickens County, Chickasaw Nation. It owes much of its existence to the construction of the Santa Fe Railroad through the area during that time. It grew, as most frontier towns grew, over the years into a trading outpost for the region. In 1894, notorious outlaw William M. Dalton was gunned down by a posse as he tried to flee from his home in Ardmore. A large fire in 1895 destroyed much of the fledgling town, which forced residents to rebuild nearly the entire town. In the early 1900s, Ardmore became well known for its abundance of cotton-growing fields and eventually became known as the world's largest inland cotton port.
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