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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Chula Vista CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design College

Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Chula Vista 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 spaces, it's important that you get the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses 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 only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching 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 available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Chula Vista CA

Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The main distinction between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Chula Vista CA may specialize in:

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

There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui principles, Chula Vista California interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their final designs.
 

Interior Design Degree Programs

There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Chula Vista CA. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous California trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide options in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Chula Vista California interior designer bathroomOnce you have selected 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 issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Chula Vista CA residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chula Vista California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Chula Vista CA college you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement 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 esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Chula Vista CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Chula Vista CA schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Chula Vista CA programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chula Vista home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chula Vista CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Design School near Chula Vista California

interior designed kitchen in Chula Vista CaliforniaPicking the ideal interior design program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a college where you will receive your training and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. But it is still essential that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Chula Vista California.