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What to Ask Interior Design Programs

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Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Fountain Hills AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected 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 programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fountain Hills AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program 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 program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Fountain Hills AZ program you select should also furnish the suitable instruction 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a large network of Fountain Hills AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fountain Hills AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fountain Hills AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Fountain Hills home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. While there speak 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Fountain Hills AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

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