Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Riverside AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Riverside AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Riverside AL school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements 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 want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Riverside AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Riverside AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Riverside AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Riverside home, visit the campus and attend 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Riverside AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.