How to Select the Right Interior Designer School near Northway Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Northway AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it’s important that you receive the right 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 training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you perform the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But exactly where do you start? Many prospective students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation should be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class options are offered.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Northway AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often 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 can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers often focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Northway AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to launch your new career in Northway AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed 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 available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design furnish the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take approximately two years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such 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 largely 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.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Northway AK homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For many students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you select is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Northway AK home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Northway AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Northway AK school you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Northway AK business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Northway AK colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Northway AK schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Northway home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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 college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Northway AK, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Online Degree For Interior Design Northway AK
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a difficult job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Online Degree For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic I Want To Study Interior Design. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Northway AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Northway (K’ehtthiign in Upper Tanana Athabascan) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. The population was 71 at the 2010 census, down from 95 in 2000.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 20.9 square miles (54 km2), of which, 19.2 square miles (50 km2) of it is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) of it (8.45%) is water.
The highest sea-level pressure in North America was recorded at Northway on January 31, 1989 with a reading of 31.85 inches, a record only surpassed by two readings in Siberia. Due to aircraft altimeters only being able to calibrate to 31 inches, most were grounded.