How to Select an Interior Designer College near Corbin Kentucky
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Corbin KY, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research so that you can assess and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important variables when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people mistake interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator in Corbin KY if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers in Corbin KY typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, Corbin KY designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design in Corbin KY that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating 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 options available in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession. Your decision will undoubtedly be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available near Corbin KY.
- 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 numerous Corbin KY area community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. 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 want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary 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, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy 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 many students online programs may be the sole option if no Corbin KY area interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain 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 environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your Corbin KY area college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Corbin KY employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several states do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those states mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Corbin KY college you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Corbin KY area business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. Many of Corbin KY area interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Corbin KY programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the Corbin KY interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Pick the Ideal Interior Designer College near Corbin KentuckyChoosing the ideal interior designer college is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your training and cultivate your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer.
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