How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Degree Program near Boykin Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Boykin 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 appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main difference between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Boykin AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Boykin AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training needed to begin your new profession in Boykin AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure 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 alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ 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 schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Boykin AL homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Boykin AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Boykin AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Boykin AL college you enroll in 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 employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Boykin AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Boykin AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Boykin AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Boykin home, visit the school and attend 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Boykin AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Degree Requirements Boykin AL
Selecting the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Degree Requirements and wanted more info on the topic Bachelor Degree In Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Boykin AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Boykin, also known as Gee's Bend, is an African American majority community and census-designated place in a large bend of the Alabama River in Wilcox County, Alabama. As of the 2010 census, its population was 275. The Boykin Post Office was established in the community in 1949 and remains active, servicing the 36723 ZIP code.
Gee's Bend was named for Joseph Gee, an early large land owner from Halifax County, North Carolina who settled here in 1816. Gee brought 18 African American slaves with him and established a cotton plantation within the bend.
Boykin is a block of land enclosed on three sides by the Alabama River, within a horseshoe shaped turn of the river named Gee's Bend. It is within the Black Belt of Alabama. The plantation started by Joseph Gee passed to his nephews Sterling and Charles Gee upon his death, along with 47 slaves. The brothers then sold it to their relative Mark H. Pettway in 1845 to settle a $29,000 debt. About a year later, the Pettway family moved from North Carolina to Gee's Bend, bringing about one hundred slaves with them. When slavery was abolished many of them continued working for the Pettways as sharecroppers. Many of the black tenants Arthur Rothstein photographed were named Pettway. The white Pettway family owned the property until 1895, when it was sold to Adrian Sebastian Van de Graaff. Van de Graaff, a lawyer from Tuscaloosa, then operated it as an absentee landlord.