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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Powell Wyoming interior designed family room with piano

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Powell WY home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Powell WY employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Powell WY college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Wyoming or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Powell WY business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Powell WY schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support 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 college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Powell WY schools you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Powell home, go to the college and sit in on 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Powell WY, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.

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