Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Bayou La Batre AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bayou La Batre AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Bayou La Batre AL program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, 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 profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a significant network of Bayou La Batre AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Bayou La Batre AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bayou La Batre AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bayou La Batre home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bayou La Batre AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.