Bev Carlton lives in Kansas City and has been doing interior design as a side business for 20 years. She has taken many of our online courses including Introduction to Interior Design, Color for Interiors, Textiles, and Historical Styles I. In fall 2014, Bev will be taking Drafting and Visual Concepts online.
What did you like about the online format?
For me it was all about the flexibility. I live in Kansas City, so the online courses allowed me to take advantage of one of the top programs in the country, to work around family, work and travel commitments. The online format means you can start and stop lectures while taking notes, refer back to slides, or reference other materials to reinforce the course content.
Did you feel like you could interact with the teacher and your fellow students?
I absolutely feel I interact with my teachers and fellow students! Several of the teachers have had an ‘open door’ (through e-mail) policy and they really encourage us to ask questions. A lot of times it was a question that affected everyone and the questions/answers would be shared with the entire class. This communication makes all the difference, because you feel they care just as much as if we were there physically. I’ve also made many friends from all over the world in the online classes! Gaining this international perspective was an added bonus; it wasn’t something I was expecting.
Have you taken any onsite interior design courses? If so, how did they compare?
I have taken onsite classes at a local community college. While the experience was good, I am more impressed with the breadth of knowledge of the NYSID instructors. For example, in the Textiles class we had several “field trips” to textile manufacturers that I wouldn’t have been exposed to at my local community college. This also goes for the Metropolitan Museum of Art tour we had in Historical Styles I. These extra learning opportunities are incredibly beneficial!
Why did you want to go to school for interior design now?
I have always loved art and math. I was an accounting major in college but it didn’t take long for my art side to work its way out, so I started my own design firm at the request of friends and colleagues, while still working full-time in accounting and raising my kids. I felt guilty, however, calling myself a designer without a degree. Now with my children grown, I want to complete a degree so I can confidently call myself an interior designer. My current goal is to obtain an associate’s degree and perhaps go on to earn a BFA and move into commercial work. Regardless, I have already used lessons learned from class on the job!!