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Schools Offering Interior Design Programs near Newark DE

How to Choose the Best Interior Design College

Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Newark DE, it's time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it's imperative that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it's essential that you do the proper research so that you can evaluate and compare each school that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But where do you begin? A number of potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be taken into account also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you should be asking 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 class options are available.

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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design

interior designed living room in Newark DE

Some people mistake interior design for interior decoration. The primary difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor's or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Newark DE may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces 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 many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Newark Delaware interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
 

Interior Designer Degrees

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training needed to begin your new career in Newark DE. Your choice will no doubt be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Delaware community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components 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 position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after attaining a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mostly for those professionals who desire 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 as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Colleges

Newark DE student attending interior design school onlineFor anyone wishing to attend classes in the comfort of their Newark DE homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the school 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect option for you.

What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Newark DE home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Newark Delaware employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Newark DE school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Delaware or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Newark DE business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Newark DE schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Newark DE colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Newark home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Newark DE, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

Choose the Right Interior Designer College near Newark Delaware

interior designed kitchen in Newark DelawarePicking the ideal interior design college is an important initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions 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 quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Newark Delaware.