How to Select the Right Interior Designer College Albany 94706
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Albany CA, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s essential that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you do the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your final selection. But just where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration as well. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Albany CA may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Albany CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new career in Albany CA. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Schools
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Albany CA homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded 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 online or distance education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Albany CA home. 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 qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Albany CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Albany CA college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Albany CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Albany CA colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Albany CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Albany home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Albany CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Albany CA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Albany California area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
In 1908, a group of local women protested the dumping of Berkeley garbage in their community. Armed with two shotguns and a twenty-two-caliber rifle, they confronted the drivers of the wagons near what is now the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Buchanan Street. The women told the drivers of the horse-drawn garbage wagons to go home, which they did quickly and without complaint. Shortly thereafter, the residents of the town voted to incorporate as the City of Ocean View. In 1909, voters changed the name of the city, primarily to distinguish the city from the adjacent section of Berkeley which had previously been named Ocean View. On a vote of 38 to 6 the city was renamed in honor of Albany, New York, the birthplace of the city's first mayor, Frank Roberts.
Albany is located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, bordering the city of Berkeley to the south and east, and the Contra Costa County cities of El Cerrito and Richmond to the north. Albany's northern and southern borders are defined by two creeks, Codornices Creek on the south and Cerrito Creek on the north. Cerrito Creek takes its name from "El Cerrito de San Antonio", now known as Albany Hill. The hill's unusual location near the bay shore makes it a prominent landmark in the East Bay. The rest of the city is relatively flat by Bay Area standards, except for a small area near the base of the Berkeley Hills.
Albany's waterfront has undergone significant man-made changes; the most prominent landform is now the Albany Bulb, a former garbage landfill jutting out into San Francisco Bay. The bulb was the site of a small art colony and shanty town until it was cleared to turn the area into part of the new Eastshore State Park.
Find the Best Interior Design School near Albany CA
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges With Good Interior Design Programs. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Albany CA.
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California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve. The State Board of Education extends its appreciation to the writer for the standards, Dr. Brandon Zaslow, Director of the Occidental College World ... Resources Division, with the cover and interior design prepared by CDE Press. It was published by the California Department of ...
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Interior Designers Institute is the Best Interior Design Schools in California. Looking for an Interior Design Graduate Program in California? Please call us at (949) 675-4451. IDI - 2019 ACCSC School of Excellence - contact idi to find out why! ... It has recognized the importance of active participation and involvement in the major interior ...
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Most people think all interior designers are licensed or certified; but this is not true. In California, anyone can use the title “interior designer”; “ C ertified I nterior D esigner” is the only legally recognized and protected title for interior designers in the state of California. A C ertified I nterior D esigner is a competent design professional who may prepare and submit non ...
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Decoration may refer to: . Decorative arts; A house painter and decorator's craft; An act or object intended to increase the beauty of a person, room, etc.; An award that is a token of recognition to the recipient intended for wearing; Other uses. Cake decorating, the art of making a usually ordinary cake visually interesting; Christmas decoration, festive decorations used at Christmas time