How to Choose the Right Interior Designer Program near Windsor Connecticut
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Windsor CT, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation 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 looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between the two 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, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of 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 functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Windsor CT can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must 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 principles, Windsor CT interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Design Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Windsor CT. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Connecticut vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly 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 cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 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, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Windsor CT homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Windsor CT residence. Naturally 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 fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Windsor CT employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Windsor CT school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Connecticut or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Windsor CT business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Windsor CT colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Windsor CT colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Windsor home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Windsor CT, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Interior Design College Programs Windsor CT
Choosing the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify 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 Programs and wanted more info on the topic Becoming An Interior Designer. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Windsor CT.
Other Connecticut Designer Locations
Windsor is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States, and was the first English settlement in the state. It lies on the northern border of Connecticut's capital, Hartford. The population of Windsor was 29,044 at the 2010 census.
Poquonock /pəˈkwɒnək/ is a northern area of Windsor that has its own zip code (06064) for post-office box purposes. Other unincorporated areas in Windsor include Rainbow and Hayden Station in the north, and Wilson and Deerfield in the south.
The Day Hill Road area is known as Windsor's Corporate Area, although other centers of business include New England Tradeport, Kennedy Industry Park and Kennedy Business Park, all near Bradley International Airport and the Addison Road Industrial Park.
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