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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Opp AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors 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 reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Opp AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Opp AL program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing 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 designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Opp AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Opp AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Opp AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Opp home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Opp AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

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