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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Tucson AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Tucson Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an outstanding education, the Tucson AZ program you select should also furnish the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Tucson AZ business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Tucson AZ schools you are evaluating and ask what kind of aid they provide. A number of interior design colleges offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Tucson AZ schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Tucson home, go to the college and attend a few 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 Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Tucson AZ, verify 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 because of work, family or illness.