How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program White Sulphur Springs 24986
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near White Sulphur Springs WV, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The key distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in White Sulphur Springs WV can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, White Sulphur Springs WV interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to obtain the training required to launch your new career in White Sulphur Springs WV. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of West Virginia trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain 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 cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Design Schools
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their White Sulphur Springs WV homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized 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 distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your White Sulphur Springs WV home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many White Sulphur Springs WV employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready 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 mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the White Sulphur Springs WV program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for West Virginia or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of White Sulphur Springs WV business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the White Sulphur Springs WV colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the White Sulphur Springs WV colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your White Sulphur Springs home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose 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 White Sulphur Springs WV, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near White Sulphur Springs WV?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the White Sulphur Springs West Virginia area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
White Sulphur Springs grew in the first half of the nineteenth century as the southern "Queen of the Watering Places". The springs resort first became the standard summer destination for wealthy Virginia Low Country residents seeking reprieve from heat, humidity, and disease of the "sickly season". As its popularity increased and it gained status as a socially exclusive site, the springs attracted elite guests from all areas of the South.
The resort, now known as The Greenbrier, remains one of the country's most luxurious and exclusive resorts. For many years, Sam Snead was the resort's golf pro. The resort has another significant place in golf history; in 1979, it hosted the first Ryder Cup to feature the current competitive setup of the United States and European sides. Golf in the United States began near White Sulphur Springs when the Montague family founded Oakhurst Links in 1884, making it the oldest organized golf club in the country. In 2010, the Greenbrier hosted the inaugural PGA FedEXCUP.Greenbrier Classic 
In 1992 the Washington Post reported that, during the Cold War, the resort had been the site of a "bunker", the Emergency Relocation Center, which was intended to house and protect the U.S. Congress in the event of a nuclear attack.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near White Sulphur Springs WV
Selecting the right interior designer program is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in Colleges That Have Interior Design Majors. But it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in White Sulphur Springs WV.
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