What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Fyffe AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fyffe AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Fyffe AL school you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Fyffe AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fyffe AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Fyffe AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Fyffe home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fyffe AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.