Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Carbon Hill AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and college that you select 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Carbon Hill AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Carbon Hill AL school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Carbon Hill AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Carbon Hill AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carbon Hill AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carbon Hill home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carbon Hill AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.