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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Programs
Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Gilbert AZ residence. Naturally 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 fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose 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 demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Gilbert AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Gilbert AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Gilbert AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Gilbert AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Gilbert AZ programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Gilbert home, go to the school 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.