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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Hot Springs 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 fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 outstanding, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Hot Springs Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prep 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Hot Springs AR school you choose should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Hot Springs AR business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Hot Springs AR colleges you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they provide. Many of interior designer programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that selecting an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Hot Springs AR schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Hot Springs home, go to the college and attend 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 backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design college you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Hot Springs AR, confirm that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.