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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Hamilton AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and school that you enroll in 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 college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Hamilton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Hamilton AL college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Hamilton AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Hamilton AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Hamilton AL schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Hamilton home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hamilton AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

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