Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Berry AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Berry AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Berry AL program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at 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 college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Berry AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Berry AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Berry AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Berry home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with some 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Berry AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.