What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Webb AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Webb AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Webb AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Webb AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Webb AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Webb AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Webb home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there 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 design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Webb AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.