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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Clanton 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 qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. 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 ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Clanton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Clanton AL school you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask 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 students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Clanton AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Clanton AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Clanton AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Clanton home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Clanton AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

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