Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Holtville AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Holtville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Holtville AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Holtville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Holtville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Holtville AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Holtville home, visit the college 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 styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Holtville AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.