Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Select the Right One Near Juneau Alaska
So it’s time to start the task of selecting an interior design school near Juneau AK now that you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. It's important that you get the appropriate training to put your skills to work, even if you have always had a talent for designing residential or commercial interiors. And because interior designers must be licensed in several states, the school you select should prep you to pass any required licensing exam and provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each program you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision it's vital that you do the appropriate research. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will start their research by looking for interior design schools near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. There are a number of other qualifications that you should weigh when reviewing schools, such as accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other crucial questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at in more detail below.
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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Juneau AK residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Juneau AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Juneau AK college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College'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 schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Juneau AK business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Juneau AK schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Juneau AK schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Juneau home, visit the campus and attend 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? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Juneau Interior Design School
Selecting the right interior design school is a critical first step toward launching your career in this creative and fulfilling occupation. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and cultivate your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job regardless of what field you have decided on. As with any undertaking to receive a higher education, there are several factors to think about before choosing a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. It is still essential that you conduct your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the balance of the 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 superior training and your determination to succeed, you can accomplish your goal of becoming an interior designer in Juneau Alaska.