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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Page AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Page AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Page AZ school you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Page AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Page AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Page AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Page home, visit the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Page AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.

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