Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Concord AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Concord AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Concord AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Concord AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Concord AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Concord AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Concord home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Concord AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.