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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Knik Fairview AK home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School 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 respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. 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 securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Knik Fairview AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Knik Fairview AK school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Knik Fairview AK business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Knik Fairview AK schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive 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 little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Knik Fairview AK schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Knik Fairview home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, 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, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.