Interior Designer Degree
How to Select the Best One Near Glendale Arizona
Once you have decided to enroll in an interior design school near Glendale AZ, it's time to start the process of picking a school. Even if you have always had a talent for designing commercial or residential spaces, it's important that you receive the proper training to put your natural abilities to work. And because interior designers are licensed in several states, the school you choose should prepare you to pass any required licensing test as well as provide the necessary training for your specialty. So it's essential you carry out the proper research so that you can analyze and compare each program that you are reviewing prior to making your final choice. But exactly where do you start? Some prospective students will begin their research by looking for interior design schools near their home and then comparing tuition expenses. While location and cost are key issues when making a decision, they should not be the sole ones. Qualifiers such as reputation and accreditation must be taken into consideration also. We will address those topics and other important questions that you should be asking the interior design schools you are reviewing in more detail below.
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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges
Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Glendale AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Glendale AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Glendale AZ school you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools 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 highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Glendale AZ business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.
Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Glendale AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Glendale AZ programs you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Glendale home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. While there talk with a few 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, confirm that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Glendale AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.
Enroll in the Right Glendale Interior Design College
Choosing the right interior design school is an important first step toward starting your career in this artistic and gratifying profession. Finding a school where you will receive your education and develop your talents in a specific area of study is a daunting task regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several points to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, make sure that the program and design school are both accredited and highly esteemed in the business. It is still imperative that you perform your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly review and compare interior design programs so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Glendale Arizona.