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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Trussville AL home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should 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 get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Trussville AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Trussville AL school you choose should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Trussville AL business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Trussville AL schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Trussville AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Trussville home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you choose provides classes the fit your busy 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 Trussville AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.