How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Summerland California
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Summerland CA, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, 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 Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Summerland CA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must 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, Summerland CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Summerland CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous California community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Summerland CA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs 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. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make 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 colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Summerland CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Summerland CA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Summerland CA school you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Summerland CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Summerland CA schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
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 instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Summerland CA programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Summerland 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Summerland CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Design College Summerland CA
Selecting the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design College and wanted more info on the topic College Interior Design. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Summerland CA.
Other California Designer Locations
Tar from natural oil seeps in the Summerland area was long used as a sealant, both by the native Chumash peoples and by the Spanish builders of the Mission Santa Barbara, who used it as waterproofing for the roof. In 1883, spiritualist and real estate speculator H.L. Williams founded the town of Summerland. In 1888 he divided his land tract, on a moderately sloping hill facing the ocean, into numerous parcels. He promoted the tiny lots – 25 x 60 – to fellow Spiritualists, who bought them in quantity and moved to the area. The spiritual center of the town was a Spiritualist Church, with séance room, demolished only when Highway 101 was put through in the 1950s.
In the 1890s, oil development began in the coastal area of Summerland, at the Summerland Oil Field. Numerous wooden oil derricks were built on the beach, and on piers stretching into the ocean. The world's first offshore oil well, drilled into the sea floor, was at this location. Production at this beach area peaked before 1910, although most of the rigs remained into the 1920s. Peak production from the onshore portion of the Summerland Field did not actually occur until 1930; the last oil was pumped from the nearshore region in 1940. In 1957, Standard Oil Co. of California (now Chevron) found the large Summerland Offshore Oil Field, several miles offshore, which was shut down in the 1990s.
In August 2015, Summerland's beach was closed for several days by County of Santa Barbara health officials due to large amounts of oil washed onshore. Local residents suspect the petroleum source is a leaking capped oil well ("the Becker wellhead") in the tidal area below Lookout Park.
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