Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Kimberly AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Kimberly AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Kimberly AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Kimberly AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Kimberly AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Kimberly AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Kimberly home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kimberly AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.