Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Rehobeth AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Rehobeth AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Rehobeth AL college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Rehobeth AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Rehobeth AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Rehobeth AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Rehobeth home, go to the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rehobeth AL, confirm 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, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.