Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your West Blocton AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of West Blocton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the West Blocton AL program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of West Blocton AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the West Blocton AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the West Blocton AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your West Blocton home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near West Blocton AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.