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What to Ask Interior Design Schools
When you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Scottsboro AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Scottsboro AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides providing an exceptional education, the Scottsboro AL college 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 working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a substantial network of Scottsboro AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Scottsboro AL colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually 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 one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Scottsboro AL programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Scottsboro home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Scottsboro AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.