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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Mountain Brook AL residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Mountain Brook AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Mountain Brook AL college you select should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, 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 field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Mountain Brook AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Mountain Brook AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Mountain Brook AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Mountain Brook home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mountain Brook AL, make certain 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 protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.