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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs
Once you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the college must be within driving distance from your Douglas AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from 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 a rigorous assessment 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Douglas AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the School Prep 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) examination as well as 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 also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Douglas AZ school you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance 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 esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Douglas AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Douglas AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Douglas AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Douglas home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and find out 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Douglas AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.