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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within commuting distance from your Prattville AL home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Prattville Alabama employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an exceptional education, the Prattville AL college you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Alabama or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a sizable network of Prattville AL business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Prattville AL schools you are looking at and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a program that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Prattville AL programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Prattville home, visit the college and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prattville AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.