Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Point Clear AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify 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 college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Point Clear AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Point Clear AL program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Point Clear AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Point Clear AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Point Clear AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Point Clear home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Point Clear AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.