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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Madison AL home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. 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 factors that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs 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 Designer College Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by 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 undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Madison Alabama employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Madison AL school you choose should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the school has a sizable network of Madison AL business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Madison AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often 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 Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Madison AL schools you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Madison home, visit the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Madison AL, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.