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Topics to Ask Interior Design Programs

Now that you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Anaheim CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Anaheim California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College 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) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore aside from furnishing an excellent education, the Anaheim CA college you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a sizable network of Anaheim CA business connections where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Contact the financial aid offices for the Anaheim CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide support in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small 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 Anaheim CA programs you are reviewing what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Anaheim home, visit the campus and sit in on a couple of classes. While there talk 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 Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Anaheim CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.