Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Livingston AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including 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 obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Livingston AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Livingston AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Livingston AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Livingston AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Livingston AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Livingston home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Livingston AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.