Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Brighton AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Brighton AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Brighton AL program you select should also furnish the suitable 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Brighton AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Brighton AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Brighton AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Brighton home, go to the school and sit in on a few 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Brighton AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.