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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Center Point AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Center Point AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Center Point AL college you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing 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 designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Center Point AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Center Point AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Center Point AL schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Center Point home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Center Point AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.