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What to Ask Interior Design Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Dixiana AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Dixiana AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Dixiana AL college you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Dixiana AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Dixiana AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative 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 Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Dixiana AL schools you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Dixiana home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Dixiana AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.