Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Vincent AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Vincent AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Vincent AL program you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication 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 indicate that the school has a sizable network of Vincent AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Vincent AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Vincent AL schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Vincent home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Vincent AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.