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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Schools
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Princeton AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Princeton AL employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Princeton AL program you choose should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a significant network of Princeton AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Princeton AL colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Princeton AL programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Princeton home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Princeton AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.