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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 start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Alhambra CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you assess and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior design school and program that you choose has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment 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 agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Alhambra California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Alhambra CA college you select should also furnish the proper education to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt need some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges 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 sign that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the college has a significant network of Alhambra CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Alhambra CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Alhambra CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Alhambra home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Alhambra CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, confirm that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.