How to Choose the Best Interior Design College near Whittier Alaska
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design college near Whittier AK, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s essential that you carry out the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each college that you are considering before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered as well. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
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Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Many people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Whittier AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers normally focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Whittier AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options available in interior design to get the training required to start your new career in Whittier AK. Your choice will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are available at numerous Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical components of the trade 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 design training after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, 2 or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For students who to study in the convenience of their Whittier AK homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Studying online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also acquire accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Whittier AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable 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 consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Whittier AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Whittier AK school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Whittier AK business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Whittier AK colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Whittier AK schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Whittier home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Whittier AK, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Bachelors Of Interior Design Whittier AK
Picking the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Searching for a college where you will obtain your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive a higher education, there are many points to think about before choosing a course, program 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 Bachelors Of Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Major. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Whittier AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Whittier is a city at the head of the Passage Canal in the U.S. state of Alaska, about 58 miles (93 km) southeast of Anchorage. The city is within the Valdez–Cordova Census Area. At the 2010 census the population was 220, up from 182 in 2000. The 2018 estimate was 205 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. Whittier is also a port for the Alaska Marine Highway.
The region occupied by Whittier was once part of the portage route of the Chugach people native to Prince William Sound. Later, the passage was used by Russian and American explorers, and by prospecting miners during the Klondike Gold Rush. The nearby Whittier Glacier was named for American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1915, and the town eventually took the name as well.
During World War II, the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad, near Whittier Glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. The spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan was completed in 1943, and the port became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska.