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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Decatur AL home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Decatur Alabama employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Decatur AL college you select should also furnish the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also signify that the school has a sizable network of Decatur AL business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Decatur AL schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Decatur AL programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Decatur home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few 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 Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Decatur AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.