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What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Arizona City AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by 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 gone through a demanding assessment 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 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 obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Arizona City AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Arizona City AZ program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Arizona City AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Arizona City AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately 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 one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Arizona City AZ colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Arizona City home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arizona City AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.