What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Adamsville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Adamsville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Adamsville AL program you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Adamsville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Adamsville AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Adamsville AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Adamsville home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Adamsville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.