IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Oxford AL residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment 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 organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Oxford AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Oxford AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination 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 no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Oxford AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Oxford AL colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Oxford AL colleges you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Oxford home, go to the college and monitor a few 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 credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Oxford AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.