Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Mount Vernon AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Mount Vernon AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require 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 school. And in some 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 Mount Vernon AL program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs 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 indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Mount Vernon AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Mount Vernon AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Mount Vernon AL programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Mount Vernon home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Mount Vernon AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.