Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Clayton AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Clayton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Clayton AL program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Clayton AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Clayton AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes 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 Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Clayton AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Clayton home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Clayton AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.