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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus has to be within driving distance from your Antioch CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Antioch California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate 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 work experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an outstanding education, the Antioch CA school you select should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Antioch CA business relationships where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial aid departments for the Antioch CA schools you are looking at and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Antioch CA colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Antioch home, visit the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer program you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Antioch CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.