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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Glencoe AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Glencoe AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Glencoe AL program you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Glencoe AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Glencoe AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Glencoe AL schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Glencoe home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Glencoe AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.