Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Goodwater AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable college 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 consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Goodwater AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Goodwater AL program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Goodwater AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Goodwater AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Goodwater AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Goodwater home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Goodwater AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.