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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Fairfield AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school 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, a number of Fairfield AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Fairfield AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a significant network of Fairfield AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fairfield AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big 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. Find out from the Fairfield AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fairfield home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Fairfield AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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