IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Questions to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Phenix City AL residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable 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 should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Phenix City AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Phenix City AL school you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Phenix City AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Phenix City AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Phenix City AL schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Phenix City home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Phenix City AL, verify that those classes are available. 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.