Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Springville AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Springville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Springville AL school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Springville AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Springville AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Springville AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Springville home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Springville AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.