Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Coats Bend AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important 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 industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Coats Bend AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Coats Bend AL school you select 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 working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Coats Bend AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Coats Bend AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Coats Bend AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Coats Bend home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, 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 at night or on weekends near Coats Bend AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.