Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Brookside AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. 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 excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Brookside AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Brookside AL school you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Brookside AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Brookside AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Brookside AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Brookside home, go to the college and attend a couple of 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Brookside AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.