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Questions 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 school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Anchorage AK home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Anchorage Alaska employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Anchorage AK program you enroll in should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Alaska or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance 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 highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the school has a significant network of Anchorage AK business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Anchorage AK schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Anchorage AK colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Anchorage home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Anchorage AK, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.