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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Colleges
When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Catalina Foothills AZ home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Catalina Foothills AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Catalina Foothills AZ college you choose should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements 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 support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Catalina Foothills AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Catalina Foothills AZ colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Catalina Foothills home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Catalina Foothills AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.