How to Pick the Right Interior Design College near Port Lions Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer school near Port Lions AK, it’s time to begin the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the appropriate training to put your talents to work. And since several states do require that interior designers be licensed, based upon 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 school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But where do you start? Many future students will start their research by looking for interior design programs near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are important issues when making a decision, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will cover those topics and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing 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 design for interior decoration and conversely. The principal distinction 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, doing business as an interior designer requires formal training 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 functional as well as attractive. On some projects they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 general areas that an interior designer in Port Lions AK may specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, for instance kitchens or bathrooms.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the main concern.
There are various areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They need to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From selecting wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Port Lions AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Training Programs
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to get the training needed to start your new profession in Port Lions AK. Your choice will undoubtedly be driven by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you decide to enroll in, be sure to select one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated in some states. More will be discussed on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design supply the minimum level of training needed to enter the field. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are available at a number of Alaska trade schools and junior colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential 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 training in design after acquiring the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer 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. Doctoral programs are primarily for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The programs vary in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Port Lions AK homes, there are online accredited interior design classes. Studying online can be a great solution for those students that are working or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online schools may be the sole alternative if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Added costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make certain that the school you select is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the perfect alternative for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Port Lions AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Port Lions AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Port Lions AK program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. 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 high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Port Lions AK business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Port Lions AK schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Port Lions AK colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Port Lions home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Port Lions AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.
How To Become An Interior Designer Online Port Lions AK
Selecting the ideal interior designer college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding occupation. Locating a college where you will receive your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are many things to consider before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, confirm that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in How To Become An Interior Designer Online and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Distance Learning. But it is still essential that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design schools so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Port Lions AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Port Lions, Alaska
Port Lions (Masiqsirraq in Alutiiq) is a city located on Kodiak Island in the Kodiak Island Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 194, down from 256 in 2000.
Port Lions was built to house the inhabitants of Ag'waneq from the neighboring island of Afognak and Port Wakefield from Raspberry Island, after their villages were destroyed by the Good Friday earthquake in 1964. Port Lions was built with help from the United States government and the Lions Club. It was named in honor of the club.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26 km2), of which, 6.3 square miles (16 km2) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) of it (36.98%) is water.