How to Pick the Right Interior Design Course Jacksonville 36265
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Jacksonville AL, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do 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 looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are offered.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Jacksonville AL can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Jacksonville AL interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training required to begin your new profession in Jacksonville AL. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alabama trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining 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 enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Jacksonville AL homes, there are online accredited interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Jacksonville AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 a rigorous 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 agency. Not only will it help confirm 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 available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Jacksonville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Jacksonville AL program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Jacksonville AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Jacksonville AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors 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 large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Jacksonville AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Jacksonville home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out 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? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Jacksonville AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Jacksonville AL?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Jacksonville Alabama area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Jacksonville is a city in Calhoun County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 12,548, which is a 49% increase since 2000. It is included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area. Jacksonville State University is located here, which is a center of commerce and one of the largest employers in the area.
Jacksonville was founded in 1833 on land purchased from Creek Indian Chief "Du-Hoag" Ladiga. First called Drayton, the town was renamed to honor President Andrew Jackson in 1834. There are a couple Civil War monuments in town, including a statue of Major John Pelham in the city cemetery and a statue of a Confederate soldier in the middle of the square. Jacksonville served as the county seat for Calhoun County until the 20th century when it moved to Anniston. Jacksonville State University was founded here in 1883.
An EF3 tornado hit Jacksonville on March 19, 2018, causing extensive damage to the city and Jacksonville State University, almost $42 million in damages. The relatively low amount of casualties, specifically just four injuries, was attributed by some to the fact that the university was on spring break at the time. More than 1,000 volunteers assisted in the immediate tornado relief. Caleb Howard, then a senior at Jacksonville State University, said that "[i]t's been amazing to see the university and the community come together." Classes resumed at the university the following month. Although the university's usual site for graduation, Pete Mathews Coliseum, was damaged in the tornado along with over 20 other buildings, the first spring graduation since the tornado proceeded as scheduled on May 4 outside the football stadium. Dr. John Beeler, the university's president, said "It's a joyous event generally because you're celebrating the accomplishments of all your graduates, but it's an even more joyous event because to me it's a celebration of how far we've come in a short time in recovering from these tornadoes."
Enroll in the Ideal Interior Design School near Jacksonville AL
Picking the right interior designer college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges That Offer Interior Design Programs. But it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Jacksonville AL.
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