How to Enroll in the Right Interior Design College near Bethel Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Bethel AK, 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 receive the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s essential that you carry out the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design programs near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be considered as well. We will address those issues and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main difference between them is the amount of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, conducting business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Bethel AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers often focus 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 emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Bethel AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Training Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Bethel AK. Your selection will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to commit 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) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum 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 supply advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide alternatives in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Schools
For those who wish to study in the comfort of their Bethel AK homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the only option if no interior design colleges are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online learning. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Bethel AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. 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 may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bethel AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Bethel AK college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college 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 sizable network of Bethel AK business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Bethel AK colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Bethel AK programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bethel home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bethel AK, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Online Interior Design Courses Bethel AK
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online Interior Design Courses and wanted more info on the topic Colleges That Have Interior Design. However it is still important that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate 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 Bethel AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Bethel (Mamterilleq in Central Alaskan Yup'ik) is the largest community on the Kuskokwim River, located approximately 50 mi (80 km) upriver from where the river flows into Kuskokwim Bay. Bethel is the largest community in western Alaska and in the Unorganized Borough, as well as the ninth largest in the state, with a population of 6,080 as of the 2010 Census.
Southwestern Alaska has been the homelands of Yup'ik peoples and their ancestors for thousands of years. The residents of what became Bethel were called the Mamterillermiut, meaning "Smokehouse People", after their nearby fish smokehouse. In the late 19th century, the Alaska Commercial Company established a trading post in the town, called Mumtrekhlogamute, which had a population of 41 people by the 1880 US Census.
In 1885, the Moravian Church established a mission in the area under the leadership of Rev. William Weinland and Caroline (born Yost)  and John Henry Kilbuck, Jr., a Lenape, and his wife Edith, a daughter and granddaughter of Moravian missionaries in Kansas. They both learned Yup'ik, which greatly enhanced their effectiveness as missionaries. He made Yup'ik the language of the Moravian Church in the community and region, and helped translate scripture into the people's language. The missionaries moved Bethel from Mamterillermiut to its present location on the west side of the Kuskokwim River. A United States post office was opened in 1905.