What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Uniontown AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Uniontown AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Uniontown AL program you choose should also provide the appropriate education 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Uniontown AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Uniontown AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Uniontown AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Uniontown home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Uniontown AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.