Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Thorsby AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Thorsby AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Thorsby AL program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Thorsby AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Thorsby AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Thorsby AL colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Thorsby home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Thorsby AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.