What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Fort Deposit AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Fort Deposit AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Fort Deposit AL college you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Fort Deposit AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Fort Deposit AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fort Deposit AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fort Deposit home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Fort Deposit AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.