How to Find the Right Interior Design College Santa Fe 87501
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Santa Fe NM, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require 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 do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into account also. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal difference between them is the level of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Santa Fe NM can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Santa Fe NM interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to begin your new career in Santa Fe NM. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous New Mexico community colleges and vocational schools. 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 technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty 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. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to attend classes in the convenience of their Santa Fe NM homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Santa Fe NM home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Santa Fe NM employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Santa Fe NM program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Santa Fe NM business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Santa Fe NM schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Santa Fe NM schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Santa Fe home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Santa Fe NM, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Santa Fe NM?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Santa Fe New Mexico area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe (/ˌsæntəˈfeɪ/ or /ˈsæntəˌfeɪ/;[nb 1]Tewa: Oghá P’o'oge, Navajo: Yootó) is the capital and fourth-most populous city of the U.S. state of New Mexico. In addition to being the eponymous seat of Santa Fe County, it has approximately 83,875 inhabitants with a metropolitan area population of approximately 144,170. Due to its geographic location in Northern New Mexico–at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Rocky Mountains–Santa Fe exhibits an alpine and dry steppe climate with pronounced forestry, various mountain ranges, and large plains, along its city limits. During the winter season, Santa Fe typically experiences large amounts of snowfall and drops in temperature allowing it to maintain New Mexico's third-largest ski resort, Ski Santa Fe, following Angel Fire Resort and Taos Ski Valley. The city's subalpine land elevation is 7,199 feet above sea level, making it the third most highest city in elevation in the United States. It is jointly-eponymous with Santa Fe, Granada, Spain–both cities feature a castle, lion, and the Spanish imperial eagle on their official seals and flags.Spanish culture is celebrated annually in Santa Fe, most notably with Fiestas de Santa Fe and the burning of Zozobra.
The area of Santa Fe has been continuously occupied since 900 BCE, originally inhabited by prehistoric Pueblo and Tanoan hunter-gatherers. Formal settlements spread in the early 1200s, making Santa Fe one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in the Western Hemisphere. Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate led an envoy into the city during the early 17th century as a part of Spain's larger effort to colonize the Americas. New Mexico's first colonial governor, Pedro de Peralta, designated Santa Fe the capital of the Kingdom of New Mexico in 1610, making it the oldest state capital in the United States. The full name of the City of Santa Fe (Spanish: Ciudad de Santa Fe) as founded remains La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís ("The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi"). As the capital of the New Spain, Santa Fe de Nuevo México served as the seat of power for the Spanish Empire in North America. It briefly gained independence from 1680 to 1692 after Pueblo peoples intermittently revolted. After Diego de Vargas reconquered the city for New Spain in the late 1690s, it remained under Spanish rule for more than a century. While Spain lost Santa Fe to Mexico in 1810, Mexico suppressed a Texan raid on Santa Fe in 1841 only to lose it to the United States five years later. Santa Fe was designated the capital of the U.S. State of New Mexico in 1912.
As the cultural and economic centre of New Mexico, the city exerts substantial influence in the state's politics, education, entertainment, environment, media, fashion, science, culture, and the arts. The Governor's Mansion, New Mexico Legislature, and Supreme Court of New Mexico are all headquartered in Santa Fe. It is home to the New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, operating the International Folk Art Market and Santa Fe Indian Market during the summers. While it possesses modern infrastructure, the city has preserved the look and feel of many of its historic neighborhoods and streets. Its landmarks include the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, San Miguel Mission, and Santa Fe Plaza. In addition to numerous parks and woodlands, the Santa Fe National Forest is within its northern city limits. The city has one of the most expensive real estate and rental markets in the country. Known for its art market, Santa Fe has the third-largest art market value in the United States, with nearly 250 art galleries and brokers. The city was designated a UNESCO World Creative City in 2005 for its efforts in cultural preservation.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Santa Fe NM
Picking the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Good Schools For Interior Design. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided 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 drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Santa Fe NM.
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