How to Find the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Ashford Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Ashford AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design courses 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. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The principal distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Ashford AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. 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 kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Ashford AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training necessary to start your new career in Ashford AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually 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, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Ashford AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working 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 practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the college you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Ashford AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Ashford AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Ashford AL college you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask 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 trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Ashford AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Ashford AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college 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 aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Ashford AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Ashford home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ashford AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Home Study Interior Design Ashford AL
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Home Study Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Colleges That Offer Interior Design. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Ashford AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Ashford is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town was incorporated in June 1891. For most of its history, it was a center for naval stores production, pulpwood harvesting, and cotton agriculture. The population was 2,148 at the 2010 census, up from 1,853 at the 2000 census.
Ashford is located slightly northeast of the center of Houston County at 31°11′3″N 85°14′7″W / 31.18417°N 85.23528°W / 31.18417; -85.23528 (31.184032, -85.235286).U.S. Route 84 passes through the southern part of the town, leading west 9 miles (14 km) to Dothan and southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Donalsonville, Georgia. The Chattahoochee River, which forms the Georgia state line, is 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Ashford on US 84.
Ashford's former mayor is Jonathon Grecu, he resigned from office on December 31, 2017. On January 8, 2018 Carole Barfield took office. As of October 2018, the current mayor is Carole Barfield, and City Council members are Gary Gibson, Ronnie Whitehead, Alan Anderson, James Smith, and Denise Herndon. The City Clerk is Darlene Cassady.
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