How to Pick an Interior Designer School near Oxford Kansas
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Oxford KS, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator in Oxford KS if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Oxford KS frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, Oxford KS designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of residential and commercial interior design in Oxford KS that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered near Oxford KS.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Oxford KS area trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent 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 practical for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no Oxford KS area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your Oxford KS area college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Oxford KS employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those states calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Oxford KS program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Oxford KS area business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of Oxford KS area interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Oxford KS schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the Oxford KS interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Select the Best Interior Design College near Oxford KansasPicking the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several points to consider 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. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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