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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Rogers AR

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer School

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Rogers AR, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's essential that you receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But just where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by looking for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let's cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are available.

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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Rogers AR

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

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

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

Interior Design Degree Options

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to launch your new profession in Rogers AR. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are available at numerous Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after acquiring the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Degree Programs

Rogers AR student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Rogers AR homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also earn 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Rogers AR residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things 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 address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Rogers Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Rogers AR program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Rogers AR business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Rogers AR colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively 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 one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Rogers AR programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Rogers home, go to the school and monitor 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rogers AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Rogers Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Rogers ArkansasPicking the ideal interior designer college is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges 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.