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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Buckeye AZ residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the cheapest 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 should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Buckeye Arizona 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 require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Buckeye AZ school you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a large network of Buckeye AZ business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Buckeye AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Buckeye AZ schools you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Buckeye home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school 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 attend classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.