Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Priceville AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate 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 school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field 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 instructors 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 education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Priceville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Priceville AL college you select 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out 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 profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Priceville AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Priceville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Priceville AL schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Priceville home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Priceville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.