Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Minor AL home. Obviously 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 expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Minor AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Minor AL program you choose should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Minor AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Minor AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Minor AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Minor home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Minor AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.