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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Chandler AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will limit your options as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation 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 examine and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by 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 earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Chandler Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an excellent education, the Chandler AZ program you choose should also provide the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Chandler AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid departments for the Chandler AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what type of aid they provide. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chandler AZ schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Chandler home, go to the college and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Chandler AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.