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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 degree program near Rogers AR, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's essential that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

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

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Rogers Arkansas interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to start your new profession in Rogers AR. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at many Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order 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 field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Online Interior Designer Schools

Rogers AR student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to study in the comfort of their Rogers AR homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For many students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Rogers AR home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest 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 consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Rogers Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Rogers AR program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Rogers AR business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Rogers AR schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Rogers AR colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Rogers home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Rogers AR, confirm 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, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasChoosing the right interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your training and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are many things to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Rogers Arkansas.