How to Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Course near Columbiana Alabama
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Columbiana AL, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your final selection. But where do you start? Many future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial 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 compared to Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Columbiana 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Columbiana AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Columbiana AL. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialized 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. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are normally 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 some instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Columbiana AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Columbiana AL home. Of course 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 fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Columbiana AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs 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 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Columbiana AL college you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign 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 college has a sizable network of Columbiana AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Columbiana AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide 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 attention from the teachers. Find out from the Columbiana AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Columbiana home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Columbiana AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn Interior Design Columbiana AL
Choosing the ideal interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Learn Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Best Online Interior Design Courses. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Columbiana AL.
Other Alabama Designer Locations
Columbiana, originally called Columbia, was selected as the county seat of Shelby County in 1826 over rivals Calera and Montevallo. After the selection as the county seat, Columbiana celebrated by drilling holes in a large pine tree and packing it with gunpowder. The tree was blown up and the sound could be heard for miles. Later in 1826, the courthouse was moved to an old school building in Columbiana.
An act of the Alabama Legislature officially changed the name of Shelby County's county seat to Columbiana on January 13, 1832. Columbiana was incorporated on December 5, 1837 with corporate limits one-quarter of a mile in each direction from the public square.
In 1854, the decision was made to build a larger courthouse at the south end of “Silk Stocking Road”, now Main Street. From 1854 to 1908 several additions and changes were made to the courthouse. During the American Civil War, Columbiana was connected to the nearby town of Shelby by the Shelby Iron Company Railroad, which connected the Shelby Iron Works to the Alabama and Tennessee River Railroad. The Iron Works supplied iron to the C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, which moved to Columbiana in 1862 after the fall of Corinth, Mississippi. The Churchill foundry made eight and ten pound shot, eight and ten pound shells, and shells for Blakely rifles. The C.B. Churchill and Company foundry, Shelby Iron Works and the railroad were destroyed by Union forces on March 31, 1865, as part of Wilson's Raid.
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