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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Altadena CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest school or the one that is closest to home are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following 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 appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior design program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation 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 recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Altadena California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get 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 several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an excellent education, the Altadena CA college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Altadena CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Available? Get in touch with the financial aid departments for the Altadena CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Altadena CA schools you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Altadena home, visit the school and monitor a couple of classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Altadena CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.