What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Leesburg AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Leesburg AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Leesburg AL program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing 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 esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Leesburg AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Leesburg AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Leesburg AL colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Leesburg home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Leesburg AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.