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Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Enterprise AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Enterprise AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to 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 besides providing an exceptional education, the Enterprise AL school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Enterprise AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Enterprise AL schools you are looking at and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Enterprise AL programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Enterprise home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Enterprise AL, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.