How to Select the Right Interior Design School Springfield 37172
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Springfield TN, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are looking at prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered as well. We will discuss those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing 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 educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Springfield TN may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Springfield TN interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new career in Springfield TN. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Tennessee community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Springfield TN homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be a good 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 laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For many students online programs may be the only alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Springfield TN home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Springfield TN employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Springfield TN program you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Tennessee or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Springfield TN business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Springfield TN colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Springfield TN schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Springfield home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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? Finally, 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 going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Springfield TN, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Springfield TN?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Springfield Tennessee area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Springfield is a city in and the county seat of Robertson County, which is located in Middle Tennessee on the northern border of the state. The population was 16,478 at the 2010 census and 16,659 in 2013.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,329 people, 5,453 households, and 3,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,173.9 people per square mile (453.1/km²). There were 5,836 housing units at an average density of 478.1 per square mile (184.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.56% White, 25.91% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.94% of the population.
There were 5,453 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.
Find the Ideal Interior Design School near Springfield TN
Selecting the ideal interior designer school is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Study Interior Design Online. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Springfield TN.
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