How to Find the Right Interior Design Degree Program Summerton 29148
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Summerton SC, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you get the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will address those issues and other crucial 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 training alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between them is the amount 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. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Summerton SC may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to 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 concepts, Summerton SC interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Summerton SC. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous South Carolina vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary 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 several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Colleges
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Summerton SC homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. 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 option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Summerton SC residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Summerton SC employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Summerton SC program you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for South Carolina or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Summerton SC business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Summerton SC schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Summerton SC programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Summerton home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Summerton SC, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Summerton SC?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Summerton South Carolina area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Summerton, South Carolina
Summerton is in southwestern Clarendon County at 33°36′19″N 80°21′8″W / 33.60528°N 80.35222°W / 33.60528; -80.35222 (33.605145, -80.352159).Interstate 95 passes just south of the town, with access from Exit 108. I-95 leads northeast 57 miles (92 km) to Florence and southwest 120 miles (190 km) to Savannah, Georgia. U.S. Routes 15 and 301 join in the center of Summerton. US 301 leads northeast 10 miles (16 km) to Manning, the Clarendon County seat, and US 15 leads north 23 miles (37 km) to Sumter, while the combined highways lead southwest 11 miles (18 km) to Santee.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,061 people, 452 households, and 285 families residing in the town. The population density was 919.3 people per square mile (356.2/km²). There were 516 housing units at an average density of 447.1 per square mile (173.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 39.77% White, 57.21% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 1.41% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.07% of the population.
There were 452 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 3.00.
Choose the Ideal Interior Design School near Summerton SC
Choosing the right interior design program is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Interior Design Certificate Programs. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Summerton SC.
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