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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Jasper AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Jasper AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Jasper AL school you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Jasper AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Jasper AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Jasper AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Jasper home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Jasper AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.