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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Calexico CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Calexico CA, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it's essential that you do the appropriate research so that you can evaluate and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Some future students will begin their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account as well. 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 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 Decoration and Interior Design

interior designed living room in Calexico CA

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design. The principal distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires 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 residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Calexico CA can specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Calexico California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training needed to start your new profession in Calexico CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialty majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are generally completed in three to five years.

In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.

What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Calexico California interior designer bathroomWhen you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Calexico CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. 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 instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Calexico California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Calexico CA program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Calexico CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Calexico CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Calexico CA schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Calexico home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Calexico CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Enroll in the Right Interior Designer School near Calexico California

interior designed kitchen in Calexico CaliforniaPicking the right interior designer school is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Calexico California.