Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Luverne AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Luverne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Luverne AL college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Luverne AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Luverne AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Luverne AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Luverne home, go to the college and attend a few 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy 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 Luverne AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.