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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Satsuma AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Satsuma AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Satsuma AL program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing 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 no doubt need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Satsuma AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Satsuma AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Satsuma AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Satsuma home, go to the school and attend 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Satsuma AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.