What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Dunnavant AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Dunnavant AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to 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. So besides providing an excellent education, the Dunnavant AL program you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Dunnavant AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Dunnavant AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Dunnavant AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Dunnavant home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Dunnavant AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.