Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Cherokee AL residence. Obviously 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 choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer 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 gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Cherokee AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Cherokee AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Cherokee AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Cherokee AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Cherokee AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Cherokee home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active 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 Cherokee AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.