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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Paradise Valley AZ home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Paradise Valley AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Paradise Valley AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Paradise Valley AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Paradise Valley AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Paradise Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Paradise Valley home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some 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? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Paradise Valley AZ, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.