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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Apache Junction AZ residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your options 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 variables that you need to consider 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 in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, 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 Apache Junction Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Apache Junction AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Apache Junction AZ business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Apache Junction AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Apache Junction AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Apache Junction home, go to the school and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Apache Junction AZ, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you 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, family or illness.