Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Geneva AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Geneva AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Geneva AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Geneva AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Geneva AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Geneva AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Geneva home, visit the college and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Geneva AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.