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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Springdale AR residence. Obviously if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you select 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 programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Springdale Arkansas employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the Program 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Springdale AR school you choose should also furnish the suitable education 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 Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It may also signify that the school has a large network of Springdale AR business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Springdale AR colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper 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 little individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Springdale AR colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Springdale home, visit the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior designer college you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Springdale AR, confirm that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.