Home >> Arkansas >> Springdale >> Interior Design Colleges


Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Springdale AR

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design Degree Program

Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Springdale AR, it's time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's essential that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final decision. But just where do you begin? Many future students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other crucial 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 options are available.

Start Your Interior Design Career By Requesting Free Info on Local Schools Below

Interior Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Springdale AR

Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration. The main difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires 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 educated to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Springdale AR may specialize in:

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

There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Springdale Arkansas interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new career in Springdale AR. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure 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 a number of states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Arkansas trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed 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 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

In order to work professionally and use the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing exam.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Springdale Arkansas interior designer bathroomOnce you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Springdale AR home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional 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 evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Springdale Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Springdale AR school you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Springdale AR business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Springdale AR schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance 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 program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Springdale AR schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Springdale home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Springdale AR, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

Enroll in the Best Interior Designer Program near Springdale Arkansas

interior designed kitchen in Springdale ArkansasSelecting the ideal interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are a number of points to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. However it is still important that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Springdale Arkansas.