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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Litchfield Park AZ home. Of course 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Litchfield Park AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Litchfield Park AZ program you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
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 programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Litchfield Park AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Litchfield Park AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Litchfield Park AZ programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Litchfield Park home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Litchfield Park AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.