Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Moulton AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Moulton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Moulton AL college you choose should also provide the appropriate training 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Moulton AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Moulton AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Moulton AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Moulton home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Moulton AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.