Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Red Bay AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Red Bay AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Red Bay AL program you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Red Bay AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Red Bay AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Red Bay AL schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Red Bay home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and ask 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 design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Red Bay AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.