What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Sulligent AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure 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 field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Sulligent AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Sulligent AL school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Sulligent AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Sulligent AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program 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 provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Sulligent AL colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sulligent home, visit the school 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sulligent AL, confirm 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, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.