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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within driving distance from your Auburn AL residence. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Auburn Alabama employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 as well. Therefore in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Auburn AL school you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a large network of Auburn AL business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Auburn AL schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Auburn AL colleges you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Auburn home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Auburn AL, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.