How to Pick the Right Interior Designer College Bay Minette 36507
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Bay Minette AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you get the right 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 may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between them is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Bay Minette AL can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently 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 may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Bay Minette AL interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training needed to launch your new career in Bay Minette AL. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alabama community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required 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 two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty 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. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For students who to attend classes in the convenience of their Bay Minette AL homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. 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 attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Bay Minette AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Bay Minette AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as 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 aside from providing an exceptional education, the Bay Minette AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering 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 school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Bay Minette AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Bay Minette AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bay Minette AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bay Minette home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bay Minette AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Bay Minette AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Bay Minette Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Bay Minette, Alabama
In the first days of Baldwin County, the town of McIntosh Bluff (now in Mobile County, west of Baldwin County) on the Tombigbee River was the county seat. After being transferred to the town of Blakeley in 1810, the county seat was later moved to the city of Daphne in 1868. In 1900, by an act of the legislature of Alabama, the county seat was authorized for relocation to the city of Bay Minette; however, the city of Daphne resisted relocation. The citizens of Bay Minette moved the county records from Daphne in the middle of the night on October 11–12, 1901 and delivered them to the city of Bay Minette - where the Baldwin County seat remains to this day. A mural for the new post office built in 1937 was commissioned by the WPA and painted by Hilton Leech of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to commemorate this event.
In September 2011, the town attempted to enact a program called "Operation Restore Our Community". It would have allowed those convicted of a misdemeanor to substitute imprisonment with mandatory church attendance for one year. However, this program was challenged due to violating separation of church and state, and the program's start was delayed for judicial review. It appears to have been scrapped.
Bay Minette is located near the center of Baldwin County in southern Alabama at 30°53′0″N 87°46′38″W / 30.88333°N 87.77722°W / 30.88333; -87.77722 (30.883446, -87.777183). It is sited on high ground 5 miles (8 km) east of the Mobile River/Tensaw River valley and 6 miles (10 km) west of the Florida border formed by the Perdido River. U.S. Route 31 passes through the center of the city, leading south to Spanish Fort and northeast to Atmore. Interstate 65 passes about 5 miles (8 km) north of the city, with access from exit 34 (State Route 59) and exit 37 (State Route 287).
Find the Right Interior Design School near Bay Minette AL
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a difficult task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges With Interior Design Majors. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Bay Minette AL.
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