Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Dauphin Island AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Dauphin Island AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Dauphin Island AL program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Dauphin Island AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Dauphin Island AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Dauphin Island AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Dauphin Island home, visit the campus and attend a few 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dauphin Island AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.