Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Union Springs AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded 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 assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Union Springs AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Union Springs AL college you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Union Springs AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Union Springs AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Union Springs AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Union Springs home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Union Springs AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.