Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Hayden AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hayden AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Hayden AL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Hayden AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Hayden AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide 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 enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Hayden AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Hayden home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hayden AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.