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Subjects to Ask Interior Design Programs

When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus must be within driving distance from your Mesa AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the most affordable school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just make sure 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Mesa Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Mesa AZ school you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction 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 designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Mesa AZ business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Mesa AZ colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Mesa AZ programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Mesa home, visit the school and monitor a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Mesa AZ, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.