What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Sardis City AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program 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 exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Sardis City AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Sardis City AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with 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 no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Sardis City AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Sardis City AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Sardis City AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sardis City home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sardis City AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.