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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Big Park AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Big Park AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Big Park AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Big Park AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Big Park AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Big Park AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Big Park home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Big Park AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.