Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Argo AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able 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 college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Argo AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Argo AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Argo AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Argo AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Argo AL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Argo home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Argo AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.