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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Pinson AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Pinson AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Pinson AL school you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Pinson AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Pinson AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Pinson AL programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Pinson home, visit the school and monitor 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 styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose offers 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 in the evening or on weekends near Pinson AL, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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