What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Brantleyville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Brantleyville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Brantleyville AL program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good 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 college has a substantial network of Brantleyville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Brantleyville AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Brantleyville AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Brantleyville home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brantleyville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.