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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Doney Park AZ home. 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 cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Doney Park AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare 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 as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Doney Park AZ college you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges 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 sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Doney Park AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Doney Park AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? 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 Doney Park AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Doney Park home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Doney Park AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.