How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course near Weston West Virginia
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Weston WV, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? A number of prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Weston WV can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Weston WV interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new career in Weston WV. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at many West Virginia vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects 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 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Classes
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Weston WV homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Weston WV residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right 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 organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation 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 establish 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 offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Weston WV employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Weston WV college you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Weston WV business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Weston WV colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small 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 Weston WV colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Weston home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Weston WV, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Major Interior Design Weston WV
Choosing the ideal interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Major Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Classes Near Me. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Weston WV.
Other West Virginia Designer Locations
Weston, West Virginia
Weston is a city in Lewis County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 4,110 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lewis County, and home to the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia and the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.
Weston is the site of the former Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a psychiatric hospital and National Historic Landmark which has been mostly vacant since its closure in 1994 upon its replacement by the nearby William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital. Jackson's Mill, a childhood home of Stonewall Jackson, is approximately four miles (6 km) north of Weston; it has been operated as a 4-H facility since the 1920s and is also the site of conference center operated by the West Virginia University Extension Service. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Jackson's Mill State 4-H Camp Historic District.
Weston has two national historic districts: the Weston Downtown Historic District and Weston Downtown Residential Historic District. Other buildings on the National Register of Historic Places are the Jonathan M. Bennett House and the former Weston Colored School.