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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Irondale AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 verify that the reputation of the college 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 schools. Also, many Irondale AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Irondale AL college you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Irondale AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Irondale AL schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Irondale AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Irondale home, visit the school and monitor 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Irondale AL, verify 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.