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What to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your North Little Rock AR residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the colleges you are looking at to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many North Little Rock Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get 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 several of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the North Little Rock AR college you enroll in should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for Arkansas or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of North Little Rock AR business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the North Little Rock AR schools you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships while others provide assistance in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors 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 large, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the North Little Rock AR schools you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your North Little Rock home, go to the campus and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior design college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near North Little Rock AR, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.