How to Select the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Haines Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Haines AK, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you receive the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can assess and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection. But where do you begin? A number of future students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The principal difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas functional as well as attractive. On various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Haines AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Haines AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training required to start your new profession in Haines AK. Your selection will no doubt be driven 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 decide to enroll in, make sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level jobs 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 creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors for such things as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Classes
For anyone wishing’ to study in the comfort of their Haines AK homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive 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 setting, then an online interior design school may be the right alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Haines AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Haines AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Haines AK college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Haines AK business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Haines AK colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Haines AK schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Haines home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Haines AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Accredited Interior Design Programs Haines AK
Selecting the right interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Accredited Interior Design Programs and wanted more info on the topic Schools That Have Interior Design Majors. But it is still essential 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 programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Haines AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Haines (Tlingit: Deishú) is a census-designated place located in Haines Borough, Alaska, United States. It is in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle, near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
The area around present-day Haines was called Dtehshuh or "end of the trail" by the Chilkat group of Tlingit. It received this name because they could portage (carry) their canoes from the trail they used to trade with the interior, which began at the outlet of the Chilkat River, to Dtehshuh and save 20 miles (32 km) of rowing around the Chilkat Peninsula.
The first European, George Dickinson, an agent for the North West Trading Company, settled at Dtehshuh in 1879. In 1881, the Chilkat asked Sheldon Jackson to send missionaries to the area. Samuel Hall Young, a Presbyterian minister, was sent. Jackson built the Chilkat Mission and school at Dtehshuh in 1881, on land given to the church by the Chilkat. The Mission was renamed "Haines" in 1884 in honor of Francina E. Haines, the chairwoman of the committee that raised funds for its construction.
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