Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Camden AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Camden AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Camden AL program you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Camden AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Camden AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer 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 limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Camden AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camden home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Camden AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.