How to Select an Interior Designer Program near Anderson Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior design degree program near Anderson AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper 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 may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you carry out the appropriate research in order to assess and compare each college that you are considering before you make your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Some future students will start their research by looking for interior design colleges near their home and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation need to be considered also. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training alternatives are available.
Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Many people mistake interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in a number of states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential areas attractive as well as functional. On some occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Anderson AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Designing. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally focus primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, including color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to integrating Feng shui concepts, Anderson AK interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Design Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new career in Anderson AK. Your selection will no doubt be driven by your career goals as well as the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be addressed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly two years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can usually obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that provide more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a graduating student in order to obtain an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mostly for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 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 professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For students who to attend classes in the comfort of their Anderson AK homes, there are accredited online interior design colleges. Studying online can be a great option for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Anderson AK residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Anderson AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Anderson AK college you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Anderson AK business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Anderson AK colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Anderson AK colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Anderson home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anderson AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Anderson AK?
Anderson is a city in the Denali Borough, Alaska, United States, and the borough's only incorporated community. At the 2010 census the population was 246, down from 367 at the 2000 census. The city is named after one of the original homesteaders.
Anderson is named after Arthur Anderson, one of several homesteaders who settled in the area in the late 1950s. In 1959, Anderson subdivided his homestead into house lots and sold most of the lots to civilian workers from Clear Air Force Station, a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System station completed in 1961. An elementary school was built in the community in 1961, and Anderson incorporated as a city on June 2, 1962.
In the 1960s, a road was completed between Anderson and Nenana. A ferry across the Tanana River at Nenana provided access to the Fairbanks–Nenana Highway, and hence to Fairbanks and the contiguous North American highway system via the Richardson and Alaska Highways. The ferry was replaced with a bridge in 1968. In 1972, the George Parks Highway was completed, which provided direct road access to points south, including Anchorage.
Pick the Ideal Interior Design School near Anderson AK
Selecting the right interior design college is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a difficult task no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to attain an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare programs so that you can make the right final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Anderson AK.
More Awesome Cities in Alaska