Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Hackleburg AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. 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 gone through a demanding 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hackleburg AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Hackleburg AL school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Hackleburg AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Hackleburg AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Hackleburg AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Hackleburg home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hackleburg AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.