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Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Florence AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Florence AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Florence AZ school you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Florence AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Florence AZ colleges you are reviewing and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Florence AZ colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Florence home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Florence AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.