How to Choose the Best Interior Design Course near Seward Alaska
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Seward AK, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s essential that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do mandate that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the proper research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at prior to making your final choice. But just where do you start? A number of future students will launch their research by searching for interior design courses near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are key variables when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation should be taken into account also. We will cover those topics and other crucial 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 training choices are available.
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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the level of education required. Anyone can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior spaces. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in numerous states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor’s Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may collaborate with building engineers and architects. There are 2 broad categories that an interior designer in Seward AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers typically work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any area of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. For example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are spaces where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are various areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, such as color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. Designers have to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to create their visions. From selecting carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Seward AK interior designers utilize a wide variety of skills that contribute to their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degrees
There are four degree options offered in interior design to obtain the training needed to begin your new profession in Seward AK. Your decision will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to commit to your education. But regardless of 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 some states. More will be addressed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum level of education needed to enter the profession. They take about two years to finish and programs are offered at many Alaska vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level positions as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are 4 year programs that furnish more comprehensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the creative and technical aspects of the business needed to become a designer. They are the minimum degree needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate degrees are largely for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are usually completed in 3 to 5 years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited schools become licensed. In some instances, 2 or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Design Degree Programs
For students who to study in the comfort of their Seward AK homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Studying online can be a good option for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be reduced or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you pick is accredited by a respected accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online colleges may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Seward AK home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It’s necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Seward AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Seward AK college you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Seward AK business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Seward AK schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Seward AK schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Seward home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak 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? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you select 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 at night or on weekends near Seward AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Accredited Interior Design Colleges Seward AK
Choosing the right interior designer program is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying profession. Locating a college where you will receive your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a daunting job no matter what field you have selected. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of factors to consider before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the profession. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Accredited Interior Design Colleges and wanted more info on the topic Best Online Interior Design Schools. But it is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence research. By doing so and following the rest of the recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the right ultimate selection. And with superior training and your drive to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Seward AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Seward (Alutiiq: Qutalleq) is an incorporated home rule city in Alaska, United States. Located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is situated on Alaska's southern coast, approximately 120 miles by road from Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, and nearly 1,300 miles from the closest point in the contiguous United States at Cape Flattery, Washington.
With a population of 2,693 people as of the 2010 Census, Seward is the fourth-largest city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, behind Kenai, Homer, and the borough seat of Soldotna. The city is named for former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who orchestrated the United States' purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867 while serving in this position as part of President Andrew Johnson's administration.
Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the historic starting point of the original Iditarod Trail to Interior Alaska, with Mile 0 of the trail marked on the shoreline at the southern end of town.