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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Hartselle AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Hartselle AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs 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 in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Hartselle AL program you choose should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination 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? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Hartselle AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Hartselle AL colleges you are looking at and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Hartselle AL programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Hartselle home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hartselle 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 alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.