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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Bisbee AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from 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 undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Bisbee AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Bisbee AZ program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet 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 received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Bisbee AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Bisbee AZ schools you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bisbee AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Bisbee home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bisbee AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.