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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Laveen AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. 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 issues that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school 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 schools. Also, many Laveen AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Laveen AZ school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Laveen AZ business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Laveen AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Laveen AZ programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Laveen home, go to the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Laveen AZ, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.