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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

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After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Avra Valley AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Avra Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Avra Valley AZ school you choose should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. 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 an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Avra Valley AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Avra Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Avra Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Avra Valley home, visit the campus and attend 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 credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avra Valley AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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