Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Flomaton AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. 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 a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. 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 aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Flomaton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Flomaton AL school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Flomaton AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Flomaton AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Flomaton AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Flomaton home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Flomaton AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.