Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Hokes Bluff AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hokes Bluff AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Hokes Bluff AL school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, 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 field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Hokes Bluff AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Hokes Bluff AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Hokes Bluff AL schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Hokes Bluff home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hokes Bluff AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.