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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Wasilla AK residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Wasilla AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Wasilla AK school you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Wasilla AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Wasilla AK schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Wasilla AK colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Wasilla home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college 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 go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Wasilla AK, confirm 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 protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.