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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Rogers AR

How to Choose the Right Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Rogers AR, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's essential that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final choice. But where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching 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.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Rogers AR can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui concepts, Rogers Arkansas interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Training Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Rogers AR. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at many Arkansas community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student 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 the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees 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 generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Degree Programs

Rogers AR student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Rogers AR homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Rogers AR residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for 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 best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Rogers Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Rogers AR college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Rogers AR business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Rogers AR colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Rogers AR schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Rogers home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Best Interior Designer School near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasSelecting the right interior designer program is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogers Arkansas.