Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Semmes AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Semmes AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Semmes AL college you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Semmes AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Semmes AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Semmes AL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Semmes home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Semmes AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.