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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Daphne AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. 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 aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Daphne AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Daphne AL program you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Daphne AL business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Daphne AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Daphne AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Daphne home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Daphne AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.