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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Nikiski AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Nikiski AK employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Nikiski AK program you choose should also provide the proper training 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Nikiski AK business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Nikiski AK colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Nikiski AK schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Nikiski home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Nikiski AK, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.

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