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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

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Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Holbrook AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Holbrook AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Holbrook AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Holbrook AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Holbrook AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Holbrook AZ colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Holbrook home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Holbrook AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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