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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Guadalupe AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior designer college 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 undergone a demanding evaluation 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Guadalupe AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Guadalupe AZ college you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Guadalupe AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Guadalupe AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Guadalupe AZ schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Guadalupe home, visit the college 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Guadalupe AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.