How to Select the Best Interior Design College near Eagle River Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Eagle River AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you start? A number of future students will start their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important 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 alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between them is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Eagle River AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically 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 may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, 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 looks as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Eagle River AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training required to begin your new profession in Eagle River AK. Your decision will no doubt be motivated by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training required to enter the field. They take about 2 years to complete and programs are available at many Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Schools
For students who to study in the comfort of their Eagle River AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For some students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design college may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Eagle River AK home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Eagle River AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Eagle River AK program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at 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 college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Eagle River AK business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Eagle River AK colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Eagle River AK schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Eagle River home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Eagle River AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Interior Design Bachelor Degree Eagle River AK
Picking the ideal interior designer school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire an advanced education, there are a number of points to think about before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Bachelor Degree and wanted more info on the topic Classes To Take For Interior Design. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Eagle River AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Eagle River, Anchorage
Eagle River is a community within the Municipality of Anchorage situated on the Eagle River for which it is named, between Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Chugach State Park in the Chugach Mountains. Its ZIP code is 99577. If Eagle River were not part of the Municipality of Anchorage, it would be classified as one of the five largest cities in Alaska.
The name Eagle River was first reported in 1939 by the U.S. Geological Survey. The Eagle River/Chugiak area was settled by homesteaders and prospered on agricultural activities. The Eagle River post office was established in 1961.
In spite of some local opposition, both Chugiak and Eagle River became annexed to the Municipality of Anchorage, when the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough were unified in 1975. Efforts to secede from the Municipality surfaced around 2000, but are no longer prominent as the community has seen an influx of individuals who have social and economic ties to Anchorage and the nearby Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson.
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