How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near West Paris Maine
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near West Paris ME, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Many future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary 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 areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in West Paris ME may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular 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. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, West Paris ME interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in West Paris ME. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Maine trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives 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. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their West Paris ME homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting 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 as well. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your West Paris ME residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of West Paris ME employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the West Paris ME school you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Maine or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of West Paris ME business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the West Paris ME colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the West Paris ME schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your West Paris home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near West Paris ME, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Interior Design Undergraduate Programs West Paris ME
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Undergraduate Programs and wanted more info on the topic Online Interior Design Degree. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in West Paris ME.
Other Maine Designer Locations
West Paris, Maine
It began as part of Paris, granted by the Massachusetts General Court in 1771 to Captain Joshua Fuller and his company of 64 soldiers as payment for their service to the colony. First settled in 1779, the land was considered superior for pasturage and hay crops, and orchards were large and productive.Mills were built along the Little Androscoggin River. The Paris Manufacturing Company, which was started modestly by Henry Franklin Morton in 1861 at West Sumner, grew into an important manufacturer. Near the Grand Trunk Railway depot in West Paris, it built a factory to make products including sleds, skis, wagons, step ladders, wheelbarrows, ironing boards, children's rolltop desks and other furniture.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.40 square miles (63.20 km2), of which, 24.24 square miles (62.78 km2) of it is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water. West Paris is drained by the Little Androscoggin River.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, West Paris has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
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