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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Trussville AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Trussville AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Trussville AL college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Trussville AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Trussville AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Trussville AL colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Trussville home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Trussville AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.