How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course Dauphin Island 36528
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Dauphin Island AL, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will begin 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 determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at 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 Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between them is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Dauphin Island 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 the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Dauphin Island AL interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Dauphin Island AL. Your decision will undoubtedly 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 choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Dauphin Island AL homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online 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 ideal alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Dauphin Island AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior design 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Dauphin Island AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Dauphin Island AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements 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 design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, 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 graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Dauphin Island AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Dauphin Island AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Dauphin Island AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Dauphin Island home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dauphin Island AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Dauphin Island AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Dauphin Island Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Dauphin Island, Alabama
Dauphin Island is a town in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, on a barrier island of the same name (split by the Katrina Cut), at the Gulf of Mexico. It incorporated in 1988. The population was 1,238 at the 2010 census. The town is included in the Mobile metropolitan area. The island (originally named "Massacre Island") was renamed for Louis XIV of France's great-grandson and heir, the dauphin, the future Louis XV of France. The name of the island is often mistaken as "Dolphin Island"; dauphin means Prince or Oldest Son of the King in French.
The Gulf of Mexico is to the south of the island; the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay are to the north. The island's eastern end helps define the mouth of Mobile Bay. The eastern, wider portion of the island is shaded by thick stands of pine trees and saw palmettos, but the narrow, western part of the island features scrub growth and few trees.
Dauphin Island is home to Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium public aquarium, the Dauphin Island Airport, boat ramps, a large public pier (that sits on dry land), historic sites, several restaurants, new condominium developments, and numerous private homes. Beaches attract tourism, and fishing is a popular activity in the waters around the island. The island is connected to the mainland by the Gordon Persons Bridge.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Dauphin Island AL
Selecting the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design College Courses. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Dauphin Island AL.
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Interior Design, BS | University of Alabama
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