Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Aliceville AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Aliceville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Aliceville AL college you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Aliceville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Aliceville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Aliceville AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Aliceville home, go to the school 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you select provides 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 Aliceville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.