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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Colton CA

How to Pick the Best Interior Designer Degree Program

Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Colton CA, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you receive the right training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's vital that you perform the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many prospective students will start their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be considered also. We will cover 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 talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training choices are available.

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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

interior designed living room in Colton CA

Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design. The primary distinction between them is the amount of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, working 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 areas attractive as well as functional. On various projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Colton CA may specialize in:

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

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Colton California interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their final creations.
 

Interior Designer Training Programs

There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to obtain the training necessary to launch your new profession in Colton CA. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated 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 available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Designer Online Schools

Colton CA student attending interior design school onlineFor those who wish to study in the comfort of their Colton CA homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Colton CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Colton California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Colton CA program you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California 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 assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Colton CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Colton CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing 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 program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Colton CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Colton home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Colton CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Colton California

interior designed kitchen in Colton CaliforniaPicking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult job regardless of what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before choosing a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Colton California.