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Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Harvest AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Harvest AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Harvest AL college you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Harvest AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Harvest AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Harvest AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Harvest home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic 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 Harvest AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

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