How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer Program near San Fernando California
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near San Fernando CA, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in San Fernando CA may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms 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 must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, San Fernando CA interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to start your new career in San Fernando CA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated 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 explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are available at a number of California 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 provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree 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 attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use 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 needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Classes
For students who to study in the convenience of their San Fernando CA homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great alternative 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 some students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your San Fernando CA home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many San Fernando CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the San Fernando CA program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of San Fernando CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the San Fernando CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the San Fernando CA schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your San Fernando home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near San Fernando CA, verify 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 because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Home Interior Design Program San Fernando CA
Selecting the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are several things to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Home Interior Design Program and wanted more info on the topic Choosing Accredited Interior Design Classes. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in San Fernando CA.
Other California Designer Locations
San Fernando, California
The city was named for the nearby Mission San Fernando Rey de España (which in turn was named after St. Ferdinand), and was part of the Mexican land grant of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1874 Charles Maclay, San Fernando founder, bought 56,000 acres (227 km2) of the Rancho. In 1882, cousins George K. Porter and Benjamin F. Porter of future Porter Ranch each received one-third of the total land. In 1885, Maclay founded the Maclay School of Theology, a Methodist seminary in his newly founded town of San Fernando. After his death it became an affiliate and moved to the campus of the University of Southern California and then the Claremont School of Theology.
While most of the towns in the surrounding San Fernando Valley agreed to annexation by Los Angeles in the 1910s, eager to tap the bountiful water supply provided by the newly opened Los Angeles Aqueduct, San Fernando's abundant groundwater supplies allowed it to remain a separate city. In the first half of the 20th century after incorporation in 1911, the city of San Fernando has tried to annex their city limits to Sylmar, Mission Hills and Pacoima, but the city of Los Angeles has kept up their rapid annexation and caused many failed attempts; and by the 1950's, the city said that annexation was hard to do, due to the large beaucracy of Los Angeles. They said that it can never be done again, unless someone makes a petition to LA city neighborhoods to secede from LA to join with San Fernando in the far or near future. Even as the San Fernando Valley transformed itself from an agricultural area to a suburban one in the decades after World War II, San Fernando retained its independence.
As with much of the San Fernando Valley east of the San Diego Freeway, the city of San Fernando has seen a significant demographic shift in recent years. Declining birth-rates and an aging population of middle-class Caucasians, who once dominated the area in the 1950s, has contributed to the movement into other parts of the San Fernando Valley. There has also been movement into the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys to the north. Latinos became the majority population (the largest percentage in the Greater Los Angeles area at 90 percent as of 2015). Since late 2004, the city has been going through a series of planning development projects, that can be defined as gentrification.
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