How to Find the Best Interior Design College near Port Alexander Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design degree program near Port Alexander 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 interiors, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are considering prior to making your ultimate decision. But just where do you start? Some potential students will start their research by looking for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant variables when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account as well. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But before we do, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
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Interior Decoration and Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Port Alexander AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui principles, Port Alexander AK interior designers employ a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Options
There are four degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Port Alexander AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals in addition to 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 certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally qualify for 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 needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced design training after attaining the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five 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 required before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Degree Programs
For anyone wishing’ to study in the convenience of their Port Alexander AK homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many 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. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Port Alexander AK residence. 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 expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Port Alexander AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Port Alexander AK program you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. 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 a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Port Alexander AK business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Port Alexander AK colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Port Alexander AK schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Port Alexander home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Port Alexander AK, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Training Online Port Alexander AK
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Training Online and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Home Study Courses. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Port Alexander AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Port Alexander, Alaska
Port Alexander originally incorporated in 1936. It became a part of the Greater Sitka Borough in 1963, following the state legislature's passage of the Mandatory Borough Act. The original municipality was dissolved when it unified with Sitka's city and borough governments in 1971, which formed the present-day entity known as the City and Borough of Sitka. However, residents were unhappy with the arrangement, and successfully sought to detach themselves from the new municipality. Port Alexander reincorporated as a second class city in 1974.
Port Alexander is the only city on a small sliver of land at the southeastern corner of Baranof Island that is not part of the City and Borough of Sitka. It comprises less than one-quarter of one percent of Baranof Island's land area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.1 square miles (39 km2), of which, 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) of it is land and 11.3 square miles (29 km2) of it (74.88%) is water.