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What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Tempe AZ residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your options as well. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer college and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their instructors and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Tempe Arizona employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. So aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Tempe AZ program you choose should also furnish the appropriate training 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 College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a significant network of Tempe AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Tempe AZ schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Tempe AZ colleges you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Tempe home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design program you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Tempe AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.