IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools
After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Prichard AL residence. 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 qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Prichard AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Prichard AL program you select should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Prichard AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Prichard AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Prichard AL programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Prichard home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Prichard AL, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.