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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

When you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the college must be within commuting distance from your Scottsdale AZ home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design school and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. 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 undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Scottsdale Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several 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 college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Scottsdale AZ school you enroll in should also provide the suitable 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 School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Scottsdale AZ business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Scottsdale AZ colleges you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Scottsdale home, go to the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer program you enroll in provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Scottsdale AZ, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.