Interior Designer Program
How to Choose the Right One Near Casa Grande Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Casa Grande AZ, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And because interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the college you select should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each program you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice it's very important that you perform the appropriate research. But where do you begin? When checking out interior design programs, many potential students start by zeroing in on the ones that are nearest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. There are several other considerations that you should weigh when reviewing schools, for instance reputation and accreditation. We will cover those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit about the degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Designer Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new profession in Casa Grande AZ. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives 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 certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly 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.
In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Courses
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Casa Grande AZ homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are working or have hectic 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 schools may be the only alternative if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Casa Grande AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Casa Grande AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Casa Grande AZ college you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Casa Grande AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Casa Grande AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Casa Grande AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Casa Grande home, go to the campus and monitor 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 approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Casa Grande AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Best Casa Grande Interior Design College
Selecting the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Casa Grande Arizona.