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What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Steele Creek Alaska interior designed family room with piano

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Steele Creek AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Steele Creek AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Steele Creek AK school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Steele Creek AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Steele Creek AK colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Steele Creek AK colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Steele Creek home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Steele Creek AK, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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