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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Rainsville AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Rainsville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Rainsville AL program you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Rainsville AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Rainsville AL colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Rainsville AL colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Rainsville home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Rainsville AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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