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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Chinle Arizona interior designed family room with piano

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Chinle AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chinle AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Chinle AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Chinle AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Chinle AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively 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 larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chinle AZ programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Chinle home, go to the college and sit in on 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chinle AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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