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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

When you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school needs to be within commuting distance from your Jonesboro AR home. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few questions that you may want to address with the programs you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has earned accreditation from 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). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Jonesboro Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require 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, 2 or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Jonesboro AR program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Arkansas or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Jonesboro AR business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Jonesboro AR colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some schools offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Jonesboro AR programs you are looking at what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Jonesboro home, visit the college and sit in on a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Jonesboro AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.