Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your New Hope AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of New Hope AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the New Hope AL program you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of New Hope AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the New Hope AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
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. Find out from the New Hope AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your New Hope home, go to the school and monitor 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near New Hope AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.