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Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Mountain Brook AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Mountain Brook AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Mountain Brook AL program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Mountain Brook AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Mountain Brook AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Mountain Brook AL colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Mountain Brook home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

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