Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Lillian AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 agency. 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 requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Lillian AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools 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 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Lillian AL college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Lillian AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Lillian AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lillian AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Lillian home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Lillian AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.