Interior Designer College
How to Choose the Best One Near Auburn Alabama
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design college near Auburn AL, it's time to start the process of selecting a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you obtain the appropriate training to put your natural abilities to work. And since interior designers are licensed in several states, the college you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So in order to analyze and compare each program you are looking at before you make your ultimate decision it's very important that you carry out the appropriate research. But just how do you approach enrolling in the right program? When checking out interior design programs, the majority of students start by targeting the ones that are nearest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. While cost and location are important factors when making a determination, they are by no means the only ones. There are several other considerations that you should weigh when comparing schools, for example accreditation and reputation. We will discuss those topics and other vital questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are reviewing in more detail below.
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What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Auburn AL home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Auburn AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Auburn AL program you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam 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 designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. 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 sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Auburn AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Auburn AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Auburn AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Auburn home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Auburn AL, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.
Choose the Right Auburn Interior Design College
Selecting the right interior design program is a crucial initial step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a college where you will receive your training and develop your talents in a particular area of study is a challenging task no matter what field you have chosen. As with any undertaking to attain a higher education, there are many factors to consider before selecting a course, program or school. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly respected in the profession. It is still imperative that you carry out your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions presented in this article, you will be able to effectively evaluate and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal final selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Auburn Alabama.