Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Carlisle Rockledge AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Carlisle Rockledge AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Carlisle Rockledge AL program you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Carlisle Rockledge AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Carlisle Rockledge AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Carlisle Rockledge AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Carlisle Rockledge home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Carlisle Rockledge AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.