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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Fort Mohave AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 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 accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Fort Mohave AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Fort Mohave AZ college you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Fort Mohave AZ business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Fort Mohave AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Fort Mohave AZ programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fort Mohave home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fort Mohave AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.