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What to Ask Interior Design Programs

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When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Moores Mill AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Moores Mill AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Moores Mill AL school you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out 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 trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Moores Mill AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Moores Mill AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Moores Mill AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Moores Mill home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Moores Mill AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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