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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Green Valley AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Green Valley AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate 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 mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Green Valley AZ college you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Green Valley AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Green Valley AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Green Valley AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Green Valley home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Green 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 as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.