Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Fort Rucker AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fort Rucker AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Fort Rucker AL college you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Fort Rucker AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Fort Rucker AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts 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 may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Fort Rucker AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fort Rucker home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fort Rucker AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.