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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Juneau AK residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design 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 highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, 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 Juneau Alaska employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Juneau AK school you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Juneau AK business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Juneau AK schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Juneau AK programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Juneau home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Juneau AK, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.