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What to Ask Interior Designer Programs
When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Talladega AL residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest 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 need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Talladega AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the Program Ready 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Talladega AL college you choose should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Talladega AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Talladega AL schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Talladega AL schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Talladega home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Talladega AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.