How to Pick the Best Interior Design College near South Pasadena California
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near South Pasadena CA, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you perform the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But exactly where do you begin? Some potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking 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 class options are available.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in South Pasadena CA may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, South Pasadena CA interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new profession in South Pasadena CA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business required 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 furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their South Pasadena CA homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your South Pasadena CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many South Pasadena CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the South Pasadena CA program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of South Pasadena CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the South Pasadena CA schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the South Pasadena CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your South Pasadena home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near South Pasadena CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Top Interior Design Programs South Pasadena CA
Selecting the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Top Interior Design Programs and wanted more info on the topic Accredited Interior Design Schools Online. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in South Pasadena CA.
Other California Designer Locations
South Pasadena, California
South Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 25,619, up from 24,292 at the 2000 census. It is located in the West San Gabriel Valley. It is 3.42 square miles in area and lies between the much larger city of Pasadena, of which it was once a part, and the metropolis of Los Angeles. South Pasadena is the oldest self-builder of floats in the historic Tournament of Roses Parade.
The original inhabitants of South Pasadena and surrounding areas were members of the Native American Hahamog-na tribe, a branch of the Tongva Nation (part of the Shoshone language group) that occupied the Los Angeles Basin. The Tongva name for the area that covers modern-day South Pasadena and part of Pasadena was Akuvranga. Tongva dwellings lined the Arroyo Seco (Los Angeles County) in South Pasadena and south to where it joins the Los Angeles River and along other natural waterways in the city. They lived in thatched, dome-shape lodges characteristic for their use of carved wood decorations. For food, they lived on a diet of corn meal, acorns, seeds and herbs, fish, venison, berries, fruits and other small animals. They traded for ocean fish with the coastal Tongva on a daily basis. They made cooking vessels from steatite soapstone from Catalina Island. South Pasadena also has a strong claim to having the oldest and most historic sites in the San Gabriel Valley. For many centuries, its adjacency to a natural fording place along the Arroyo Seco had served as a gateway to travel and commerce for aboriginal peoples here and along the coast. It was here that Hahamognas greeted Portola and the missionaries who later established the San Gabriel Mission a few miles to the east.
The initial buildings on the Rancho San Pascual were built on the land which eventually became the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena and Altadena. The first of these adobe structures became headquarters for General Flores and his staff in 1847 where they agreed to surrender to American forces, ending Mexican Colonial rule in California. In 1875, the landowners of the area encompassing present-day Pasadena and South Pasadena voted to rename their association, Pasadena.
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