How to Find the Best Interior Designer School near Saint George Island Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Saint George Island AK, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. But where do you start? Many potential students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are offered.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary distinction between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Saint George Island AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Saint George Island AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to launch your new career in Saint George Island AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training required to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. 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 cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty 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 the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the convenience of their Saint George Island AK homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you choose is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, 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 dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Saint George Island AK home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s imperative to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Saint George Island AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Saint George Island AK college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Saint George Island AK business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Saint George Island AK colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed 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 Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Saint George Island AK schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Saint George Island home, go to the school 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Saint George Island AK, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Schools Online Accredited Saint George Island AK
Picking the ideal interior designer program is a critical first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive 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 endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before selecting a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Schools Online Accredited and wanted more info on the topic Accredited Local Interior Design Colleges. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Saint George Island AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
St. George Island (Alaska)
St. George Island (Russian: Остров Святого Георгия) is one of the Pribilof Islands of the state of Alaska, United States, in the Bering Sea off the western coast of the state. The island has a land area of 90 km² (35 sq mi) and a population of about 100 people, all living in its only community, the city of St. George, which encompasses the entire island.
The island was discovered by Gavriil Pribylov on June 25, 1786, during a search for the breeding grounds of northern fur seals. The island is named after Pribylov's ship, the St. George. St. George Island was the first of the Pribilofs to be discovered.