How to Select an Interior Design Course near Dillingham Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Dillingham AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you obtain the right training to put your talents to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering prior to making your final decision. But exactly where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant issues when making a determination, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are researching later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are offered.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On many occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Dillingham AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers often focus predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the main consideration.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Dillingham AK interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training required to begin your new career in Dillingham AK. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum amount of education required to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at a number of Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Online Interior Designer Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Dillingham AK homes, there are online accredited interior design colleges. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the only option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated also. Just be sure that the school you pick is accredited by a respected 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 distance or online learning. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Dillingham AK residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, 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 picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer college 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Dillingham AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Dillingham AK program you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Dillingham AK business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Dillingham AK colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Dillingham AK schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Dillingham home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with some 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? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dillingham AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering Attending Interior Design School in Dillingham AK?
Dillingham /ˈdɪlɪŋhæm/ (Curyuk in Central Alaskan Yup'ik), also known as Curyung and (for the southwestern section) Kanakanak, is a city in Dillingham Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 2,329.
Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay at the mouth of the Nushagak River, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea in the North Pacific, in southwestern Alaska. It is located at 59°02′48″N 158°30′31″W / 59.04667°N 158.50861°W / 59.04667; -158.50861 (59.046751, -158.508665).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km2). 33.6 square miles (86.9 km2) of it is land, and 2.8 square miles (7.2 km2) of it (7.64%) is water. This may change as the City of Dillingham will likely petition the State of Alaska to increase the size of its boundaries to include most of Nushagak Bay and Wood River, to gain revenue from the Nushagak District and Wood River Special Harvest Area commercial salmon fisheries.
Enroll in the Right Interior Design School near Dillingham AK
Selecting the right interior design college is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to recieve an advanced education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare programs so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Dillingham AK.
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