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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Hot Springs National Park AR residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the most affordable school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Hot Springs National Park Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers become 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 program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Hot Springs National Park AR program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Hot Springs National Park AR business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Hot Springs National Park AR colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Hot Springs National Park AR colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Hot Springs National Park 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 Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Hot Springs National Park AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.