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What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Ketchikan Alaska interior designed entertainment room

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Ketchikan AK residence. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Ketchikan AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Ketchikan AK school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Ketchikan AK business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Ketchikan AK schools you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Ketchikan AK programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Ketchikan home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ketchikan AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

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