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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Rogers AR

How to Pick the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Rogers AR, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it's important that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's very important that you do the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.

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Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Rogers AR may specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to 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 principles, Rogers Arkansas interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Rogers AR. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs supply advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are usually completed in three to five 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 several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

Rogers Arkansas interior designer bathroomWhen you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Rogers AR residence. Of course 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 cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, 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 reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 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 offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Rogers Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Rogers AR college you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas 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 undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Rogers AR business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Rogers AR colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Rogers AR colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Rogers home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Rogers AR, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Best Interior Design College near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasPicking the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogers Arkansas.