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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Talladega AL residence. Naturally 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional 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 undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Talladega AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Talladega AL school you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Talladega AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Talladega AL colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? 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 Talladega AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Talladega home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Talladega AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.