Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Cottonwood AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Cottonwood AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Cottonwood AL school you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Cottonwood AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Cottonwood AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Cottonwood AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Cottonwood home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Cottonwood AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.