What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Selmont West Selmont AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Selmont West Selmont AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Selmont West Selmont AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support 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 an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Selmont West Selmont AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Selmont West Selmont AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Selmont West Selmont AL schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Selmont West Selmont home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Selmont West Selmont AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.