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What to Ask Interior Design Schools

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Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Pike Road AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Pike Road AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination 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 as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Pike Road AL program you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Pike Road AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Pike Road AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Pike Road AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Pike Road home, visit the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pike Road AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

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