Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Coaling AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Coaling AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Coaling AL program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Coaling AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Coaling AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Coaling AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Coaling home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you choose 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 in the evening or on weekends near Coaling AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.