What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Choccolocco AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Choccolocco AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Choccolocco AL school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Choccolocco AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Choccolocco AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Choccolocco AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Choccolocco home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Choccolocco AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.