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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Orange Beach AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Orange Beach AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Orange Beach AL school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Orange Beach AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Orange Beach AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Orange Beach AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Orange Beach home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Orange Beach AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.