How to Select the Best Interior Design School near Blountsville Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Blountsville AL, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? A number of potential students will start their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking 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
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Blountsville AL may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Blountsville AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to receive the training required to launch your new career in Blountsville AL. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive 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 furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Blountsville AL homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes 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 accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, 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 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 program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Blountsville AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Blountsville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Blountsville AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Blountsville AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Blountsville AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Blountsville AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Blountsville home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Blountsville AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Courses Near Me Blountsville AL
Selecting the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check 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 Interior Design Courses Near Me and wanted more info on the topic Certificate In Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Blountsville AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Blount County was created by the Alabama territorial legislature on February 6, 1818, from land ceded to the federal government by the Creek Nation on August 9, 1814. It was named for Gov. Willie G. Blount of Tennessee, who provided assistance to settlers in Alabama during the Creek War of 1813-14. It lies in the northeastern section of the state, generally known as the mineral region.
What became Blountsville appears on an 1819 map as the mixed Creek/Cherokee Native American village of "Wassausey" (meaning Bear Meat Cabin, the name of an Indian translator who lived there). The town was established by Caleb Fryley and Johnny Jones in 1816 as Bear Meat Cabin. The post office was opened as Blountsville on October 20, 1825, and incorporated on December 13, 1827. It was the county seat until 1889 when the government was moved to Oneonta.
There were many schools in the town in the early years: The Academy, Blount College and the District Agricultural School, plus the public schools. The Blount County Courthouse and jail was built in 1833 and remained there until it was moved to Oneonta. A major crossroads in early Alabama, Blountsville became a Confederate depot for the cavalry. Confederate forces led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Union forces led by General Abel Streight skirmished briefly in the town on May 1, 1863, and Major General Lovell H. Rousseau and his Union cavalry occupied the town in July 1864. Blount College was in the building that was originally the courthouse. It was established in 1890. The beautiful Blountsville United Methodist Church was established in 1818 and is the oldest building in Blountsville and is still in use today. Another old building in Blountsville was once known as the Barclift House. Built in 1834 as Hendricks Tavern, it is now owned and is being restored by the Ortiz family.
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