How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program Flagstaff 86001
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Flagstaff AZ, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you begin? Many prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between the two is the amount of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Flagstaff AZ may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Flagstaff AZ interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in Flagstaff AZ. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in 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) exam mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Flagstaff AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs 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 minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you select is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Flagstaff AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select 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 an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Flagstaff AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become 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 professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Flagstaff AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Flagstaff AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Flagstaff AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately 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 larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flagstaff AZ programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Flagstaff home, visit the college and attend 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Flagstaff AZ?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Flagstaff Arizona area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston (known as the "Second Boston Party") to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.
Flagstaff lies near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, along the western side of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the continental United States. Flagstaff is next to Mount Elden, just south of the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona. Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,851 m), is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Flagstaff in Kachina Peaks Wilderness.
Flagstaff's early economy was based on the lumber, railroad, and ranching industries. Today, the city remains an important distribution hub for companies such as Nestlé Purina PetCare, and is home to Lowell Observatory, The U.S. Naval Observatory, the United States Geological Survey Flagstaff Station, and Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, the Arizona Snowbowl, Meteor Crater, and historic Route 66. The city is also a center for medical device manufacturing, since Flagstaff is home to W. L. Gore and Associates.
Enroll in the Best Interior Design School near Flagstaff AZ
Picking the right interior design college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Certificate Programs. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Flagstaff AZ.
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