Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Creola AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Creola AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Creola AL college you choose 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 employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Creola AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Creola AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college 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 provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Creola AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Creola home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Creola AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.