Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Evergreen AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Evergreen AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Evergreen AL college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School'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 job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Evergreen AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Evergreen AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? 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. Ask the Evergreen AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Evergreen home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out 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? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Evergreen AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.