Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Stevenson AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Stevenson AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Stevenson AL college you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Stevenson AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Stevenson AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Stevenson AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Stevenson home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Stevenson AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.