Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Gordo AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Gordo AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Gordo AL school you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Gordo AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Gordo AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Gordo AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Gordo home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Gordo AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.