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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Avondale AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional 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 a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Avondale AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Avondale AZ college you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Avondale AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Avondale AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Avondale 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.