How to Pick the Right Interior Design College Fairbanks 99701
Now that you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Fairbanks AK, it’s time to begin the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing residential or commercial spaces, it’s important that you get the appropriate 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 may need preparation to pass a licensing examination also. So it’s crucial that you do the appropriate research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are considering before you make your ultimate selection. But just where do you begin? Some potential students will launch their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition costs. While cost and location are key factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation should be taken into consideration as well. We will address those issues and other crucial 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 training options are available.
Interior Decoration compared to Interior Design
Often people confuse interior design for interior decoration and vice versa. The principal difference between them is the amount 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 spaces. However, working as an interior designer requires formal training and in a number of states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are educated to make living or work spaces attractive as well as functional. On many projects they may work together with building engineers and architects. There are two broad areas that an interior designer in Fairbanks AK can specialize in:
- Residential Design. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any area of a house, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, for example bathrooms or kitchens.
- Commercial Design. When dealing with public or commercial areas, designers normally concentrate primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for banks and hospitals may concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary concern.
There are many areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example color schemes, lighting, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to create their visions. From choosing wall paper and carpeting to incorporating Feng shui principles, Fairbanks AK interior designers utilize a wide range of skills that help bring about their ultimate designs.
Interior Designer Degree Options
There are 4 degree options available in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Fairbanks AK. Your selection will undoubtedly be influenced by your career goals in addition to the money and time that you have to devote to your education. But no matter which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to choose one that is accredited. Accreditation is mandated in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be discussed on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.
- Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of training needed to enter the field. They take about two years to complete and programs are offered at many Alaska community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can usually obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
- Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the business needed to become a designer. They are the lowest degree needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
- Master’s Degree. These 2 year programs provide advanced training in design after achieving a Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees offer choices in specialty majors in general areas such as residential bathrooms or business offices. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in their careers.
- Doctorate Degree. Doctorate programs are mainly for those professionals who want to teach interior design at a university or college level. The programs differ in length but are normally completed in 3 to 5 years.
To work as a professional and adopt the title of “Interior Designer”, many states mandate that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of professional experience may be needed before an applicant can take the licensing examination.
Online Interior Designer Colleges
For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Fairbanks AK homes, there are accredited online interior design schools. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a laptop or a personal computer when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the sole option if no interior design schools are within driving distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Added expenses for such things as commuting or study materials may be reduced or eliminated as well. Just make sure 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 colleges may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to earn your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Fairbanks AK home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It’s necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fairbanks AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Fairbanks AK program you choose should also furnish the proper training 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Fairbanks AK business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fairbanks AK schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fairbanks AK colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fairbanks home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in an Interior Design School near Fairbanks AK?
Perhaps you are considering attending an interior design degree program in the Fairbanks Alaska area. If so, you may find the following information about the location of your new school campus interesting and informative.
Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska. 2016 estimates put the population of the city proper at 32,751, and the population of the Fairbanks North Star Borough at 97,121, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Alaska (after Anchorage). The Metropolitan Statistical Area encompasses all of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and is the northernmost Metropolitan Statistical Area in the United States, located 196 driving miles (or 140 air miles) south of the Arctic Circle. Fairbanks is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the founding campus of the University of Alaska system.
Though, as of yet, there is not a known permanent Alaska Native settlement at the site of Fairbanks, Athabascan peoples have used the area for thousands of years. An archaeological site excavated on the grounds of the University of Alaska Fairbanks uncovered a Native camp about 3,500 years old, with older remains found at deeper levels. From evidence gathered at the site,archaeologists surmise that Native activities in the area were limited to seasonal hunting and fishing as fridge temperatures precluded berry gathering . In addition, archeological sites on the grounds of nearby Fort Wainwright date back well over 10,000 years. Arrowheads excavated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks site matched similar items found in Asia, providing some of the first evidence that humans arrived in North America via the Bering Strait land bridge in deep antiquity.
Captain E. T. Barnette founded Fairbanks in August 1901 while headed to Tanacross (or Tanana Crossing, where the Valdez–Eagle trail crossed the Tanana River), where he intended to set up a trading post. The steamboat on which Barnette was a passenger, the Lavelle Young, ran aground while attempting to negotiate shallow water. Barnette, along with his party and supplies, were deposited along the banks of the Chena River 7 miles (11 km) upstream from its confluence with the Tanana River. The sight of smoke from the steamer's engines caught the attention of gold prospectors working in the hills to the north, most notably an Italian immigrant named Felice Pedroni (better known as Felix Pedro) and his partner Tom Gilmore. The two met Barnette where he disembarked and convinced him of the potential of the area. Barnette set up his trading post at the site, still intending to eventually make it to Tanacross. Teams of gold prospectors soon congregated in and around the newly founded Fairbanks; they built drift mines, dredges, and lode mines in addition to panning and sluicing.
Choose the Right Interior Design School near Fairbanks AK
Selecting the right interior designer school is an important first step toward launching your career in this creative and gratifying occupation. Searching for a school where you will receive your education and cultivate your talents in a specific area of study is a challenging job regardless of what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to receive an advanced education, there are a number of factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, check that the design college and program are both accredited and highly respected in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an initial interest in What Classes To Take For Interior Design. However it is still important that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to effectively review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with excellent training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Fairbanks AK.
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