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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Avondale AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just verify 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 outstanding, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Avondale Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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 several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an outstanding education, the Avondale AZ school you select should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher 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 signify that the college has a substantial network of Avondale AZ business relationships where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Avondale AZ colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Avondale AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Avondale home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some 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? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you choose offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.