How to Pick the Right Interior Design School near Shungnak Alaska
Once you have made a decision to enroll in an interior designer college near Shungnak AK, it’s time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you get the proper training to put your skills to work. And since some states do require that interior designers become licensed, based upon your state of residence you could need training to pass a licensing exam as well. So it’s vital that you carry out the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each college that you are looking at before you make your final selection. But exactly where do you start? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation need to be considered also. We will address those issues and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s cover a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and training options are available.
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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration
Some people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The primary difference between the two is the level of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a talent for decorating interior areas. However, working as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make work or residential spaces functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may work together with architects and building engineers. There are 2 general categories that an interior designer in Shungnak AK may specialize in:
- Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on new construction and existing homes. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one particular room, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are spaces where aesthetics may be emphasized over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may focus more on functionality over appearance as the main concern.
There are many areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, such as lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. 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 incorporating Feng shui concepts, Shungnak AK interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.
Interior Design Degrees
There are 4 degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training necessary to launch your new profession in Shungnak AK. Your selection will no doubt be influenced by your career goals in addition to the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you decide to enroll in, make certain 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 covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Below are short explanations of the interior design degrees that are offered.
- Associate Degree. Associate degrees in interior design provide the minimum level of training needed to enter the profession. They take about 2 years to finish and programs are available at many 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 provide more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade 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 two year programs furnish advanced design training after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide options in specialty majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are mainly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.
In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be required before an applicant can take the licensing exam.
Interior Designer Online Schools
For individuals who wish to study in the comfort of their Shungnak AK homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent alternative for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For a number of students online colleges may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more traditional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just make sure that the college you choose is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the structure of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design program may be the ideal alternative for you.
Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Shungnak AK home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Shungnak AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Shungnak AK school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Shungnak AK business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Shungnak AK colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Shungnak AK colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Shungnak home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Shungnak AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Graduate Interior Design Programs Shungnak AK
Picking the right interior design school is a critical initial step toward launching your career in this artistic and rewarding profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have decided on. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are many factors to think about before enrolling in a program, course or school. At a minimum, confirm that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the field. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Graduate Interior Design Programs and wanted more info on the topic Top Interior Design Schools. However it is still imperative that you conduct your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to properly assess and compare interior design colleges so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Shungnak AK.
Other Alaska Designer Locations
Shungnak originally was settled in 1899, approximately 10 miles to the east along the Kobuk River. The name "Shungnak" is derived from the Eskimo term "issingnak," which means jade, a stone found in the surrounding area. In the 1920s, erosion along the river caused many residents to abandon the old townsite. In 1927, they resettled at a site originally known as "Kochuk." Residents decided to rename Kochuk as the new Shungnak. At the old Shungnak village, some residents chose to remain. To avoid confusion between the two villages, Old Shungnak became Kobuk in 1928.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.6 square miles (25 km2), of which 8.4 square miles (22 km2) is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) of it (13.10%) is water.
The present Shungnak first appeared on the 1930 U.S. Census as an unincorporated village. The Shungnak listed on the 1910 and 1920 censuses was for the Old Shungnak, which became Kobuk in 1928. This Shungnak has reported on every census since 1930. It was formally incorporated as a city in 1967.