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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

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After you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Jackson WY residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Jackson WY employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Jackson WY school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Wyoming or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Jackson WY business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Jackson WY colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Jackson WY colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Jackson home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk 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 Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Jackson WY, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm 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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