What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Redland AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Redland AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Redland AL program you select should also furnish the proper training 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 earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement 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 highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Redland AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Redland AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Redland AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Redland home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Redland AL, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.