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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
After you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Green River WY home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Green River WY employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So besides providing an excellent education, the Green River WY school you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Wyoming or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Green River WY business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Green River WY schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Green River WY schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Green River home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school 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 Green River WY, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.