Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Heflin AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Heflin AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Heflin AL program you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Heflin AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Heflin AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Heflin AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Heflin home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Heflin AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.