Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Owens Cross Roads AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Owens Cross Roads AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Owens Cross Roads AL college you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, 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 students are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Owens Cross Roads AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Owens Cross Roads AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Owens Cross Roads AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Owens Cross Roads home, visit the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to 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 certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Owens Cross Roads AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.