What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Ragland AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Ragland AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Ragland AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools 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 indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Ragland AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Ragland AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Ragland AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Ragland 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Ragland AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.