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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chino CA

How to Enroll in the Right Interior Designer College

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Chino CA, it's time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it's essential that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam also. So it's crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? A number of potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, 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 vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Chino CA

Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The main difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, conducting business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Chino CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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 specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, 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 appearance as the primary consideration.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Chino California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
 

Interior Designer Degree Programs

There are four degree options available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to begin your new profession in Chino CA. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can typically obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Online Interior Design Classes

Chino CA student attending interior design school onlineFor students who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Chino CA homes, there are accredited online interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the ideal alternative for you.

Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Chino CA residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chino California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Chino CA program you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent 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 indicate that the school has a significant network of Chino CA business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chino CA schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chino CA colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Chino home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chino CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Chino California

interior designed kitchen in Chino CaliforniaSelecting the ideal interior designer school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chino California.