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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Knik Fairview AK residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Knik Fairview AK employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Knik Fairview AK program you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a large network of Knik Fairview AK business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Knik Fairview AK schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Knik Fairview AK colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Knik Fairview home, visit the school and attend a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Knik Fairview AK, confirm 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, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.