IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Cullman AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Cullman AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Cullman AL school you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Cullman AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Cullman AL colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important 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 aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Cullman AL colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Cullman home, go to the college and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Cullman AL, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.