IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN CAREER BELOW!
Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
After you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Sylacauga AL home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program 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 training are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Sylacauga AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Sylacauga AL school you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Sylacauga AL business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Sylacauga AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Sylacauga AL schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Sylacauga home, visit the campus and attend 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 backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Sylacauga AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.