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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Chino Valley AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chino Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Chino Valley AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Chino Valley AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Chino Valley AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Chino Valley AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Chino Valley home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chino Valley AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.

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