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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Gold Canyon AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 confirm 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 accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Gold Canyon AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Gold Canyon AZ school you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Gold Canyon AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Gold Canyon AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Gold Canyon AZ colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Gold Canyon home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Gold Canyon AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.