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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Sun City AZ home. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others to help you assess and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. 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 gone through a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. 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 may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Sun City Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So besides furnishing an outstanding education, the Sun City AZ college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need 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 high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a significant network of Sun City AZ business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Sun City AZ colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of assistance they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Sun City AZ schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Sun City home, go to the campus 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 styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Sun City AZ, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.