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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Fairbanks AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options also. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Fairbanks Alaska employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Fairbanks AK college you choose should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a substantial network of Fairbanks AK business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Fairbanks AK colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fairbanks AK colleges you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Fairbanks home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Fairbanks AK, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.