How to Find the Right Interior Design School Litchfield Park 85340
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Litchfield Park AZ, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should 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 interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary distinction between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Litchfield Park AZ can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, 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 main concern.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Litchfield Park AZ interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new career in Litchfield Park AZ. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Arizona 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 deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Litchfield Park AZ homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school 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 education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Litchfield Park AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry 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 make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Litchfield Park AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Litchfield Park AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering 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 school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Litchfield Park AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Litchfield Park AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Litchfield Park AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Litchfield Park home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Litchfield Park AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Litchfield Park AZ?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Litchfield Park Arizona area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Litchfield Park, Arizona
The town of Litchfield Park is a historically affluent community outside of Phoenix named after its founder, Paul Weeks Litchfield (1875–1959). He was an executive of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who came to the Phoenix area in 1916 in search of suitable land to farm a long-staple cotton that had previously been available only from the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and from Egypt. This cotton was needed to strengthen the rubber in the pneumatic tire, of which Goodyear was the world's largest producer. The east coast cotton supply had been devastated by the boll weevil and the African supply had been greatly reduced by World War I attacks from German U-boats. Litchfield went to the Phoenix area at the suggestion of the United States Department of Agriculture, but he was not successful in motivating local farmers to grow his cotton. Instead he got Goodyear to form the Southwest Cotton Company in Phoenix, with Litchfield as its president, eventually purchasing some 36,000 acres in the general Salt River Valley area including 5,000 acres around the present site of Litchfield Park, then known as Litchfield Ranch. Much of the land was bought for as little as $25 per acre. The cotton was cultivated with a workforce of mostly Mexican and Native American men. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to the name "Litchfield Park" in 1926. In 1929, the Wigwam Resort was opened to the public. In 1926, Litchfield went on to become the president of the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, and then Chairman of the Board in 1930. He retired from the company in 1958, and spent the final months of his life as a resident of Litchfield Park at his home on Fairway Drive.
In 1964, Goodyear created Litchfield Park Land and Development Co. to expand Litchfield Park into a 90,000 resident community.Arden E. Goodyear was the head of the company, Patrick Cusick was vice president and general manager, and Victor Gruen was hired to design some of the buildings. Emanuel Cartsonis, who had worked with Cusick became city planner. The plan called for 25,000 homes, a college, a junior college, eighteen elementary schools, ten junior high schools, and six high schools, as well as improvements to the town's golf course and harness track at an expense of at least 750 million dollars. Goodyear made many mistakes during development, including selling properties right up to the curb line, which means that the city must get permission from property owners before they can put in a sidewalk. They abandoned their plans for expanding Litchfield Park before they were completed and sold whatever land they could.
Litchfield Park had a population of 5,476 at the 2010 census. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 74.3% non-Hispanic white, 3.5% black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.1% non-Hispanic from some other race, 2.8% two or more races and 15.4% Hispanic or Latino.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Litchfield Park AZ
Choosing the right interior design program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many factors to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges With Interior Design Programs. But it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented 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 quality training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Litchfield Park AZ.
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