How to Find the Best Interior Designer Program near Fairbanks Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Fairbanks AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And since several states do require that interior designers become licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But just where do you begin? Many future students will kick off their research by searching for interior design courses near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into account also. We will address those topics and other vital questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class choices are available.
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Interior Decoration vs Interior Design
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The key difference between the two is the level of training required. Anyone can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may collaborate with architects and building engineers. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Fairbanks AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate primarily on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Fairbanks AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree alternatives offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to begin your new profession in Fairbanks AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make sure to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in a number of states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to advance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs differ in length but are usually completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required before an applicant can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Design Online Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Fairbanks AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are working or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an additional benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure that the program you enroll in is accredited by a respected accrediting organization, 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 learning. If you have the dedication to acquire your degree without the structure of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Fairbanks AK home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It’s essential to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fairbanks AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Fairbanks AK college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Fairbanks AK business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Fairbanks AK schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller 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 Fairbanks AK programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Fairbanks home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Bachelor In Interior Design Fairbanks AK
Choosing the ideal interior designer school is an important initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will obtain your education and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are several points to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Bachelor In Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Best Online Interior Design Programs. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design schools 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 Fairbanks AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 97,121, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though, as of yet, there is not a known permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old, with older remains found at deeper levels. From evidence gathered at the site, archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing as fridge temperatures precluded berry gathering . In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back well over 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the Bering Strait land bridge in deep antiquity.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
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