How to Choose the Right Interior Design School Wynnewood 19096
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Wynnewood PA, it’s time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you begin? A number of prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at 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 available.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Wynnewood PA can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Wynnewood PA interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Wynnewood PA. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose 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 addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Pennsylvania vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Wynnewood PA homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working 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 a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you enroll in 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Wynnewood PA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry 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 teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Wynnewood PA employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Wynnewood PA program you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Wynnewood PA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Wynnewood PA schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Wynnewood PA schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Wynnewood home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Wynnewood PA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Wynnewood PA?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Wynnewood Pennsylvania area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Wynnewood is a suburban unincorporated community, west of Philadelphia, that straddles Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County and Haverford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was named in 1691 for Dr. Thomas Wynne, William Penn's physician and the first Speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Lower Merion Township is the fifth-most-affluent town in the United States. Wynnewood is one of many neighborhoods on the historic Pennsylvania Main Line, and is the home of institutions such as Lankenau Hospital, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary,Palmer Theological Seminary, and Friends' Central School.
Wynnewood is neither an incorporated area nor a census-designated place; all data is for its ZIP code 19096. As of 2010 Census, there were 13,572 people and 5,436 households residing in the community. In 2000, the population density was 3,882 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the community was 92.9% White, 3.2% Asian, 2.5% African American, 0.40% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. 1.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
The median income for a household in the community was $86,861, and the median income for a family was $111,683. The per capita income for the community was $51,543. About 0.9% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
Pick the Right Interior Design School near Wynnewood PA
Picking the right interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design College Classes. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Wynnewood PA.
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