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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Apache Junction AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm 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 field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Apache Junction AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Apache Junction AZ program you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a large network of Apache Junction AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Apache Junction AZ schools you are looking at and find out what type of assistance they offer. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately 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 larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Apache Junction AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Apache Junction home, visit the school and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.