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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Schools
Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Mesa AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.
Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and teachers. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Mesa AZ employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.
Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do mandate that interior designers get 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 school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So besides providing an outstanding education, the Mesa AZ program you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.
What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Mesa AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Mesa AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.
How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Mesa AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Mesa home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.
Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college 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 Mesa AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.