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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Marana AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But picking the cheapest school 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 look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.
Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you select 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). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Marana AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.
Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Marana AZ program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Marana AZ business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Marana AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Marana AZ programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Marana home, go to the school and attend a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.
Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, verify that those classes are offered. 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 process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.