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What to Ask Interior Design Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Arab AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below 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 in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and college 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Arab AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Arab AL college you choose 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 working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Arab AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Arab AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? 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 Arab AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Arab home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arab AL, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.