Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Stapleton AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Stapleton AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Stapleton AL college you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Stapleton AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Stapleton AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Stapleton AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Stapleton home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some 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, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Stapleton AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.