Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen 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 campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Bear Creek AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry 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 make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bear Creek AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Bear Creek AL school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Bear Creek AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Bear Creek AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Bear Creek AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Bear Creek home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bear Creek AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.