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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Demopolis AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry 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 teachers 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Demopolis AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate 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, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Demopolis AL school you select should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a substantial network of Demopolis AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Demopolis AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Demopolis AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Demopolis home, go to the campus and attend 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy 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 Demopolis AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.