How to Choose an Interior Design College near Pelican Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer school near Pelican 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 interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s essential that you do the proper research in order to analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing before you make your final decision. But where do you start? A number of future students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.
Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make living or work areas attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Pelican AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.
There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to including Feng shui principles, Pelican AK interior designers implement a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
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 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 choose to enroll in, be sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to finish and programs are available at a number of Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can usually obtain 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 technical and creative facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices 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 their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For students who to study in the comfort of their Pelican AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a good option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools 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 study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also earn 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 structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect option for you.
Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Pelican AK home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Pelican AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Pelican AK college you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Pelican AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Pelican AK colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Pelican AK programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Pelican home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pelican AK, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Pelican AK?
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.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Pelican AK
Choosing the ideal interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and gratifying occupation. Locating a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are several points to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. However it is still imperative that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare colleges 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 Pelican AK.
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