Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your New Union AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of New Union AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the New Union AL program you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication 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 significant network of New Union AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the New Union AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts 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 larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the New Union AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your New Union home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near New Union AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.