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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

After you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Oro Valley 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 expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Oro Valley Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of professional experience may be required also. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Oro Valley AZ school you enroll in should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Oro Valley AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Oro Valley AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Oro Valley AZ colleges you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Oro Valley home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Oro Valley AZ, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.