How to Find the Best Interior Designer College near Seldovia Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Seldovia AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s important that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do mandate that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need training to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the proper research in order to analyze and compare each school that you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision. But exactly where do you begin? Some prospective students will launch their research by searching for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a decision, 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 crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are interested in 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 alternatives are offered.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The key distinction between them 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, conducting business as an interior designer requires formal training and in numerous states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two general categories that an interior designer in Seldovia AK can specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with commercial or public spaces, designers normally concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main consideration.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, including color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. Designers must be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui principles, Seldovia AK interior designers employ a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Programs
There are four degree options offered in interior design to get the training required to launch your new career in Seldovia AK. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam mandated 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 amount of education needed to enter the profession. They take approximately 2 years to finish and programs are offered at numerous Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can typically qualify for entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the technical and creative components of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The degree programs vary in length but are normally completed in three to five years.
In order to work professionally and use the title of “Interior Designer”, many states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before a candidate can sit for the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Degree Programs
For those who wish to attend classes in the comfort of their Seldovia AK homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good alternative for those students that are employed or have busy 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 many students online programs may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Additional costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated also. Just make sure that the program you choose 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 dedication to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Seldovia 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 qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Seldovia AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Seldovia AK school you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Seldovia AK business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Seldovia AK schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Seldovia AK programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Seldovia home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Seldovia AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Educational Requirements For Interior Design Seldovia AK
Choosing the ideal interior design college is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this creative and fulfilling profession. Locating a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have decided on. As with any endeavor to receive an advanced education, there are a number of points to consider before enrolling in a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Educational Requirements For Interior Design and wanted more info on the topic Interior Design Degrees Online. But it is still important that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Seldovia AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Seldovia (Alutiiq: Angagkitaqnuuq) is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska, United States. Its population was 255 at the 2010 census, down from 286 in 2000. It is located along Kachemak Bay southwest of Homer. There is no road system connecting the town to other communities, so all travel to Seldovia is by airplane or boat.
The native residents are mixed Dena'ina Athabaskan Indian and Alutiiq (Sugpiaq) Eskimo. In 1787 or 1788 a Russian fur trade post named Aleksandrovskaia was established at today's Seldovia by hunting parties under Evstratii Ivanovich Delarov, of the Shelikhov-Golikov company, precursor of the Russian-American Company. Although there has been little definitive archeological evidence of human habitation at Seldovia prior to the 1800s, it is said[by whom?] the early Russian St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, started in 1820, was built on top of an older aboriginal Inuit village site. The town's original Russian name, Seldevoy, translates to "Herring Bay", as there was a significant herring population prior to rampant overfishing early in the 20th century.
Until the development of a more complete road system in Alaska, Seldovia was an important "first stop" for ships sailing from Seward, Kodiak and other points outside Cook Inlet. At one time Seldovia was home to over 2,000 residents, but today fewer than 300 persons reside year round.