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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

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After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Sitka AK residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Sitka AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep 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, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Sitka AK program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Sitka AK business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Sitka AK colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Sitka AK colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sitka home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Sitka AK, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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