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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Cave Creek AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design program and college that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Cave Creek AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Cave Creek AZ program you select should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a large network of Cave Creek AZ business relationships 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 Cave Creek AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Cave Creek AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Cave Creek home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose provides 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 at night or on weekends near Cave Creek AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.