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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Prescott Valley AZ home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing 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 closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Prescott Valley Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Prescott Valley AZ program you select should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Prescott Valley AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Prescott Valley AZ colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of assistance they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Prescott Valley AZ schools you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Prescott Valley home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Prescott Valley AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.