What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Ballplay AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions 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 subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Ballplay AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Ballplay AL program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Ballplay AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Ballplay AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Ballplay AL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Ballplay home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ballplay AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.