What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Ladonia AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options 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 factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Ladonia AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Ladonia AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a large network of Ladonia AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Ladonia AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Ladonia AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Ladonia home, go to the campus and sit in on 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Ladonia AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.