How to Choose the Right Interior Design College near Pelican Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Pelican AK, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you start? A number of future students will kick off their research by looking for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, 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
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The main difference between them is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates 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 spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Pelican AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Pelican AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to get the training necessary to launch your new profession in Pelican AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you opt 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 several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of training required to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can commonly qualify for entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs provide advanced design training after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For those who wish to study in the convenience of their Pelican AK homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending 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 colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just make certain that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Pelican AK home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Pelican AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Pelican AK college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements 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 designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Pelican AK business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Pelican AK schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Pelican AK schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Pelican home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Pelican AK, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Education Needed For Interior Design Pelican AK
Selecting the ideal interior design school is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Education Needed For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Top Schools. However it is still essential that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Pelican AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Pelican (Tlingit: K'udeis'X̱'e) is a city in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 88, down from 163 at the 2000 census.
Pelican is located on the east side of Lisianski Inlet, a body of water that opens into Lisianski Strait and Cross Sound, on Chichagof Island at coordinates 57°57′30″N 136°13′27″W / 57.95833°N 136.22417°W / 57.95833; -136.22417 (57.958431, -136.224069).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 16.25%, are water.