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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Flagstaff AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program 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 training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Flagstaff AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Flagstaff AZ program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Flagstaff AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Flagstaff AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Flagstaff AZ schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Flagstaff home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Flagstaff AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.