Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Underwood Petersville AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Underwood Petersville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Underwood Petersville AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Underwood Petersville AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Underwood Petersville AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Underwood Petersville AL colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Underwood Petersville home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you select 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Underwood Petersville AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.