Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Huguley AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Huguley AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Huguley AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Huguley AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Huguley AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Huguley AL schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Huguley home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Huguley AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.