Interior Designer Program
How to Select the Best One Near Decatur Alabama
Now that you have made a decision to enroll in an interior design school near Decatur AL, it's time to begin the process of picking a school. It's important that you get the best available training to develop your skills, even if you have always had a knack for designing commercial or residential interiors. And since interior designers are licensed in a number of states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing exam as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's vital you do the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each program that you are looking at before you make your final decision. But just where do you begin? When looking for interior design programs, the majority of students begin by targeting those that are closest to their homes with the cheapest tuition. However, a school is not always the right option just because it happens to have a campus near your home or is lower in cost. Qualifications such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will discuss those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are interested in in more detail below.
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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Decatur AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Decatur AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Decatur AL school you choose should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Decatur AL business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Decatur AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Decatur AL schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Decatur home, go to the school and monitor 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 experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Decatur AL, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Learn More About How to Become an Interior Designer in Decatur
Choose the Best Decatur Interior Design School
Choosing the right interior designer program is a crucial first step toward starting your career in this artistic and fulfilling profession. Finding a school where you will obtain your education and develop your skills in a specific area of study is a daunting job no matter what major you have selected. As with any undertaking to attain an advanced education, there are several things to think about before selecting a school, program, or course. At a minimum, verify that the design college and program are both accredited and highly regarded in the field. It is still imperative that you complete your due diligence research. By doing so and following the remaining recommendations presented in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design schools so that you can make the appropriate ultimate selection. And with quality training and your determination to succeed, you can achieve your goal of becoming an interior designer in Decatur Alabama.
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