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What to Ask Interior Design Schools

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Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Catalina AZ residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. 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 school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Catalina AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Catalina AZ college you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. 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 an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Catalina AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Catalina AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Catalina AZ schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Catalina home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Catalina AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

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