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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus must be within commuting distance from your Vestavia Hills AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Vestavia Hills Alabama employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

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 as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Vestavia Hills AL program you choose should also furnish the proper instruction 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a sizable network of Vestavia Hills AL business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Vestavia Hills AL schools you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Vestavia Hills AL schools you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Vestavia Hills home, visit the school 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 philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Vestavia Hills AL, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.