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Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the school needs to be within driving distance from your Pine Bluff AR residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other things that you need to look at also, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and school that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national 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 gone through a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify 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 verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Pine Bluff Arkansas employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, 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) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States mandating licensing, 2 or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from providing an exceptional education, the Pine Bluff AR program you choose should also furnish the proper 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will probably need some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Pine Bluff AR business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Pine Bluff AR colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Pine Bluff AR colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Pine Bluff home, go to the school 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 philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Pine Bluff AR, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.