What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Eutaw AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Eutaw AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Eutaw AL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance 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 sign that the school 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 sizable network of Eutaw AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Eutaw AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Eutaw AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Eutaw home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Eutaw AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.