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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

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When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Cullman AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Cullman AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Cullman AL school you select should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Cullman AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Cullman AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Cullman AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Cullman home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers 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 in the evening or on weekends near Cullman AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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