What to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Lineville AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Lineville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Lineville AL college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Lineville AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Lineville AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Lineville AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Lineville home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Lineville AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.