How to Select the Right Interior Designer Program Hazel Green 35750
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Hazel Green AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some future students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 options are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates 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 taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Hazel Green AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to 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, Hazel Green AL interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to receive the training necessary to begin your new profession in Hazel Green AL. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets 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 job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the 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 advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Hazel Green AL homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added 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 certain that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Hazel Green AL 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 as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Hazel Green AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Hazel Green AL college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. 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 a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Hazel Green AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Hazel Green AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Hazel Green AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Hazel Green home, go to the college 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hazel Green AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Hazel Green AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Hazel Green Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Hazel Green, Alabama
Hazel Green is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community was 3,630. The 2010 estimated population for the Hazel Green zip code 35750 was 12,783.
The town was named Hazel Green because of the hazel bushes along the road were of a vibrant green. In the early 19th century, several farmers from Georgia and the Carolinas settled in Hazel Green after discovering that the area had some of the richest soil in the Southeast. A post office was built in 1819 on the southeast corner of the intersection now known as Hwy. 231-431 & Joe Quick Road. Several grocers and rest stops were also built along this intersection. It became a bustling community and incorporated into a town on June 15, 1821 by an act of the state legislature with a population of approximately 400. At the time, Hazel Green was a small, rural community that served as a crossroads. Roads connected Hazel Green with Athens to the west, Winchester, TN to the east, Huntsville to the south, and Nashville to the north. These roads intersected at what is now known as the intersection of US Highway 231/431, Joe Quick Road, and West Limestone Road. The town eventually became unincorporated and despite recent growth, remains unincorporated to this day.
After several months of rumors and speculation, Walmart began construction of a Supercenter on the southwest corner of US Highway 231/431 and Charity Lane in June 2014. This brought attention to several local residents and media outlets, as Walmart typically does not build supercenters in unincorporated areas. After completion in March 2015, the store attracted several other businesses in the same vicinity, including multiple fast food restaurants and shopping centers. As of December 2016, Zaxby's, Burger King, Arby's, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Taco Bell, AT&T, Great Clips, Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Verizon, and Pet Depot make up the list of new businesses in the area. Hazel Green is slated for continued residential and commercial growth in the upcoming years.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Hazel Green AL
Selecting 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 develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure 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 initial interest in Best Colleges For Interior Design Degree. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Hazel Green AL.
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Interior Design, BS | University of Alabama
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