How to Select the Best Interior Design Program near Walterboro South Carolina
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Walterboro SC, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are considering before you make your final decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Walterboro SC can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Walterboro SC interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Walterboro SC. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous South Carolina vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate 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 offer choices in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral 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 typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Walterboro SC homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent 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 laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Walterboro SC home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Walterboro SC employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Walterboro SC program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Walterboro SC business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Walterboro SC colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper 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 instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Walterboro SC colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Walterboro home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out 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? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Walterboro SC, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design College Major Walterboro SC
Picking the right interior design program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design College Major and wanted more info on the topic Top Universities For Interior Design. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Walterboro SC.
Other South Carolina Designer Locations
Walterboro, South Carolina
Walterboro is a city in Colleton County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,398 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Colleton County. Walterboro is located 48 miles (77 km) west of Charleston and is located near the ACE Basin region in the South Carolina Lowcountry. It is known as The Front Porch of the Lowcountry.
Walterboro (originally spelled "Walterborough") was founded in 1783 as a summer retreat for local planters looking to escape their malaria-ridden, Lowcountry plantations. The original settlement was located on a hilly area, covered with pine and hickory trees and named "Hickory Valley". Two of the earliest settlers were Paul and Jacob Walter. The two brothers owned plantations in nearby Jacksonboro. Paul's small daughter Mary was taken ill with malaria, a common disease amongst the families who built their plantations in the marshy areas of the Lowcountry, suitable to rice production. To save Mary's life the two brothers went looking for a more healthy location in which to live during the summer months and started the town that was later named for them. In 1817, Walterboro was named the third county seat of Colleton County, and has remained such until the present. This was followed by the construction of a county courthouse and jail in 1821, the courthouse being design by well-known architect Robert Mills. The town quickly spread out from the original Hickory Valley location, its population growth fueled successively by the town becoming the county seat in 1821, the establishment of a railroad line connecting the city with Columbia and Charleston in the 1880s, the establishment of an airfield in the 1930s and more recently the establishment of Interstate 95 in the 1960s, making the town a prime overnight stop on the road to Florida or New York.
In 1942, Walterboro became home to the Walterboro Army Air Field, a sub-base of Columbia Army Air Base and part of the overall network of army air training facilities that sprang up across the US during World War II. The base was established to provide advanced air combat training to fighter and bomber groups. It also hosted the largest camouflage school in the United States, as well as a 250-person prisoner of war camp. In 1944 the airfield changed commands and became an advanced combat training base for individual fighters, primarily the black trainees graduating from Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. Over 500 of the famed Tuskegee Airmen trained at Walterboro Army Air Field between April 1944 and October 1945, including individuals training as replacement pilots for the 332nd Fighter Squadron and the entire 447th Bombardment Group. The base closed in October 1945 and returned to its origins as a local airfield.
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