Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Locust Fork AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Locust Fork AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Locust Fork AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Locust Fork AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Locust Fork AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Locust Fork AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Locust Fork home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Locust Fork AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.