Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Vernon AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Vernon AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Vernon AL program you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. 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 a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Vernon AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Vernon AL colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing 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 competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Vernon AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Vernon home, go to the campus and attend a couple of 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Vernon AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.