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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Brook Highland AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get 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 make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Brook Highland AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Brook Highland AL program you enroll in should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering 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 college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Brook Highland AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Brook Highland AL schools you are reviewing and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Brook Highland AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Brook Highland home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Brook Highland AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.