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What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your East Florence AL home. Obviously 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 cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. 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 rigorous evaluation 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of East Florence Alabama employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the East Florence AL college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of East Florence AL business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the East Florence AL schools you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the East Florence AL colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your East Florence home, visit the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out 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? Finally, verify that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near East Florence AL, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.