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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within driving distance from your Marana AZ residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you compare and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Marana Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Marana AZ program you choose should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 design certification, you will probably want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a large network of Marana AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Marana AZ colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Marana AZ programs you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Marana home, go to 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Marana AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.