What to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Butler AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure 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 highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Butler AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Butler AL school you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer 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 so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Butler AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Butler AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Butler AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Butler home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Butler AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.