Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Sylvan Springs AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Sylvan Springs AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an excellent education, the Sylvan Springs AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance 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 esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Sylvan Springs AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Sylvan Springs AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Sylvan Springs AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Sylvan Springs home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sylvan Springs AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.