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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Fayetteville AR residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to verify that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and teachers. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Fayetteville Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Fayetteville AR college you select should also provide the appropriate education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Fayetteville AR business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Fayetteville AR colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior design colleges provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Fayetteville AR programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Fayetteville home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with a few 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design school 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 go to classes at night or on weekends near Fayetteville AR, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.