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What to Ask Interior Design Schools
Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Kingman AZ residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately pick the right degree program.
Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Kingman AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Kingman AZ program you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Kingman AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Kingman AZ schools you are looking at and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.
How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Kingman AZ colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Kingman home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you select offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Kingman AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.