Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Grand Bay AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged 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 applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Grand Bay AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Grand Bay AL school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Grand Bay AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Grand Bay AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Grand Bay AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Grand Bay home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Grand Bay AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.