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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Sylacauga AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded 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 assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Sylacauga 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 become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Sylacauga AL program you choose should also provide the proper education 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? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Sylacauga AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Sylacauga AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential 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 aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Sylacauga AL programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sylacauga home, visit the school and sit in on 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sylacauga AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.