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What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Green Valley AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and college 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). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Green Valley AZ employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.
Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Green Valley AZ program you select should also provide the suitable instruction 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 College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Green Valley AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.
Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Green Valley AZ schools you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Green Valley AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Green Valley home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Green Valley AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.