Interior Design Short Courses Altadena CA

How to Pick the Right Interior Design Degree Program Altadena 91001

interior designed Altadena CA family roomNow that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Altadena CA, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate choice. But where do you start? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges 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 reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

Interior Decoration vs Interior Design

commercial interior designed Altadena CA conference roomMany people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Altadena CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of 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 focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Altadena CA interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.

Interior Designer Degree Programs

interior designed kitchen in Altadena CAThere are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new career in Altadena CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select 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 discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are available at many California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a 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 the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Colleges

woman attending interior design school online in Altadena CAFor those who wish to study in the comfort of their Altadena CA homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Questions to ask Altadena CA interior design coursesAfter you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Altadena CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college 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 may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Altadena CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Altadena CA college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Altadena CA business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Altadena CA schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Altadena CA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Altadena home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Altadena CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Altadena CA?

Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Altadena California area.  If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.

Altadena, California

Altadena is an unincorporated[3] area[4] and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) from the downtown Los Angeles Civic Center, and directly north of the city of Pasadena, California. The population was 42,777 at the 2010 census, up from 42,610 at the 2000 census.

In the mid-1860s, Benjamin Eaton first developed water sources from the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon to irrigate his vineyard near the edge of Eaton Canyon. This made possible the development of Altadena, Pasadena, and South Pasadena. He did the construction for B. D. Wilson and Dr. John Griffin, who jointly owned the Mexican land grant of Rancho San Pascual, about 14,000 acres (57 km2), that was the future sites of these three communities. They hoped to develop and sell this land in a real estate plan called the San Pasqual Plantation. Their efforts failed by 1870, despite Eaton's irrigation ditch that drew water from the site of present-day Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Arroyo Seco. They had failed because the land was relatively inaccessible and few believed crops could thrive that close to the mountains.

Eaton tried to sell the land for the partners, and in late 1873 he helped broker a deal with Daniel Berry, who represented a group of investors from Indiana, to buy 4,000 acres (16 km2) of the rancho. This included the land of present-day Altadena, but they developed a 2,500 acres (10 km2) section further south as Pasadena. In 1881, the land that would later become Altadena was sold to John and Fred Woodbury, brothers who launched the subdivision of Altadena in 1887. The land remained primarily agricultural, though several eastern millionaires built mansions along Mariposa Street, and a small community developed through the 1890s and into the next century.

Pick the Best Interior Design School near Altadena CA

Altadena CA interior designed bathroomPicking the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Short Courses. But it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Altadena CA.

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