Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Cedar Bluff AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Cedar Bluff AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Cedar Bluff AL school you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Cedar Bluff AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Cedar Bluff AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Cedar Bluff AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Cedar Bluff home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Cedar Bluff AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.