Interior Designer Degree Program
How to Select the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
So it’s time to start the process of picking an interior design school near Auburn AL once you have made a career choice to become an interior designer. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's imperative that you get the right training to put your skills to work. And since interior designers must be licensed in several states, the school you choose should prep you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the proper training for your specialty. So in order to assess and compare each program you are considering before you make your ultimate decision it's essential that you perform the appropriate research. But just how do you go about enrolling in the right school? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students start by zeroing in on the ones that are closest to their homes with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are important issues when making a determination, they are by no means the sole ones. Qualifiers such as accreditation and reputation need to be taken into account as well. We will cover those issues and other crucial questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in in more detail below.
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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Auburn AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Auburn AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Auburn AL school you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Auburn AL business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Auburn AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Auburn AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Auburn home, go to the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Auburn AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.
Choose the Best Auburn Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior designer college is a crucial first step toward launching your career in this artistic and fulfilling occupation. Finding a college where you will obtain your training and cultivate your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging job no matter what field you have chosen. As with any endeavor to attain a higher education, there are a number of things to think about before enrolling in a course, program or school. At a minimum, verify that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence research. By doing so and following the balance of the recommendations provided in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate final selection. And with quality training and your desire to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Auburn Alabama.