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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Coolidge AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Coolidge AZ employers will only employ 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an excellent education, the Coolidge AZ college you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Coolidge AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Coolidge AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Coolidge AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Coolidge home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.