Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Clio AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Clio AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Clio AL program you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Clio AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Clio AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Clio AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Clio home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Clio AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.