Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Harpersville AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Harpersville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Harpersville AL program you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam 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? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Harpersville AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Harpersville AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Harpersville AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Harpersville home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Harpersville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.