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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Millbrook AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Millbrook AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some 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 program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Millbrook AL program you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Millbrook AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Millbrook AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Millbrook AL programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Millbrook home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Millbrook AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.