How to Choose the Right Interior Design Degree Program near Old Harbor Alaska
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer college near Old Harbor AK, it’s time to start the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors, it’s important that you receive the proper training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you could need preparation to pass a licensing exam also. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research in order to assess and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate choice. But just where do you start? Many potential students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are relevant variables when making a decision, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other important 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 options are available.
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Interior Design and Interior Decoration
Often people mistake interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces functional as well as attractive. On many projects they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Old Harbor AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently 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 particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When working on public or commercial areas, designers frequently concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might focus more on functionality over looks as the primary consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including 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 selecting carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui principles, Old Harbor AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final creations.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are 4 degree alternatives offered in interior design to receive the training needed to start your new profession in Old Harbor AK. Your decision will undoubtedly be influenced by your career objectives in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt 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) exam required in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately two years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can commonly obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the trade required to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs supply advanced training in design after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer alternatives in specialized 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. Doctoral degrees are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary 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 degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Classes
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Old Harbor AK homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For many students online schools may be the sole option if no interior design colleges are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just be sure that the program you pick is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive 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 structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Old Harbor AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Old Harbor AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Old Harbor AK college you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Old Harbor AK business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Old Harbor AK schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Old Harbor AK colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Old Harbor home, visit the campus 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 approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Old Harbor AK, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Courses For Interior Designing Old Harbor AK
Choosing the ideal interior design school is an important first step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a challenging task regardless of what field you have selected. As with any undertaking to acquire a higher education, there are many things to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Courses For Interior Designing and wanted more info on the topic Top Ranked Interior Design Programs. However it is still essential that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with superior training and your desire to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Old Harbor AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Old Harbor, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.5 square miles (68.7 km2), of which 20.5 square miles (53.2 km2) is land and 6.0 square miles (15.5 km2), or 22.59%, is water.
The community of Old Harbor has its origins in the era of Russian conquest. On August 14, 1784, Grigory Shelikhov with 130 Russian fur traders massacred (see Awa'uq Massacre) several hundred Qik’rtarmiut Sugpiat tribe of Alutiiq men, women and children at Refuge Rock, a tiny stack island off the eastern coast of Sitkalidak Island. In Alutiiq, this sacred place is known as Awa'uq ("to become numb").
Old Harbor first appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village with 160 residents: 155 Inuit and 5 Creole (Mixed Russian and Native). It returned with 86 residents in 1890, all Native. It did not return again until 1920. It formally incorporated in 1966.