Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Childersburg AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Childersburg AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Childersburg AL program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements 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 design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Childersburg AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Childersburg AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Childersburg AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Childersburg home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Childersburg AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.