What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Crossville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program 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, many Crossville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College 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, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Crossville AL program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Crossville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Crossville AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Crossville AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Crossville home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Crossville AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.