How to Enroll in the Best Interior Design Degree Program near Douglas Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Douglas AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you obtain the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s crucial that you carry out the proper research so that you can assess and compare each college that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But where do you start? A number of prospective 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 factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into consideration as well. We will cover those issues and other vital 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 class options are offered.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Some people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The main distinction between the two 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 spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in a number of 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 various projects they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Douglas AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Douglas AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new profession in Douglas AK. Your selection will no doubt be motivated by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in a number of states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum level of education required to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to finish and programs are available at numerous Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can typically obtain entry level jobs as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are primarily for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
To work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Colleges
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Douglas AK homes, there are online accredited interior design programs. Attending classes online can be a great alternative for those students that are working 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 some students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the college you choose is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also acquire 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 confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Douglas AK residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. 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 factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It’s necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Douglas AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Douglas AK school you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Douglas AK business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Douglas AK colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school 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 personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Douglas AK schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Douglas home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Douglas AK, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Interior Design Certification Programs Douglas AK
Selecting the right interior design college is a critical first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many things to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Certification Programs and wanted more info on the topic Education Needed For Interior Design. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the right final selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Douglas AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
The only traditional school left on Douglas is Gastineau Elementary, which serves all the Douglas Island elementary-aged students; the Douglas Public Library is part of the Juneau Public Library System. Douglas has a few restaurants and bars (The Island Pub, Louie's Douglas Inn, and The Douglas Café), a local live theater (Perseverance Theater), and a gas station. The town’s population has dropped over the years but recently is up to about 3,000 people, or close to ten percent of the City and Borough of Juneau’s population. Douglas gets its water and electricity from Juneau and has a mix of onsite and municipal (diverted to Juneau) wastewater treatment.
Douglas Island was originally a border of the Auke people’s and Taku people’s territory. It was not usually used for year-round settlement, but rather as a place to spend the summer, or at times a place for battles.
In 1880 gold was discovered in Juneau, Alaska, across the narrow Gastineau Channel, drawing in all kinds of people looking to strike it rich. In 1881 two towns sprouted up on Douglas Island: Treadwell and Douglas. Treadwell was the community for the miners, with its own entertainment, pool, and bar. Douglas, too, had businesses popping up and soon had its own school and post office. A railroad and boardwalk connected the two towns. At this time the Treadwell power plant was large enough to power the entire Treadwell area, Douglas, and Juneau. The power plant continued to serve the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mine until the mine was shut down in 1944 by the War Department as non-essential to the war effort.
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