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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Juneau AK residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things 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 address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Juneau Alaska employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Juneau AK program you select should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Alaska or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Juneau AK business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Juneau AK schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Juneau AK programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Juneau home, visit the school and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant 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 available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.