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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Payson AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college that you select 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). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Payson AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Payson AZ program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Payson AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Payson AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Payson AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Payson home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Payson AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.