Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Georgiana AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Georgiana AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Georgiana AL program you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Georgiana AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Georgiana AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Georgiana AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Georgiana home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Georgiana AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.