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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Montgomery AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just confirm 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 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 accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Montgomery AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get 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 some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Montgomery AL program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Montgomery AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Montgomery AL schools you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior design schools offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important 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 assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Montgomery AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Montgomery home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Montgomery AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.