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Questions to Ask Interior Design Schools

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Apple Valley 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 qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your options also. But selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and subsequently pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and school 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 receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation 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 organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Apple Valley California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an exceptional education, the Apple Valley CA college you choose should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill 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 obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out 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 students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Apple Valley CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Apple Valley CA schools you are reviewing and ask what kind of assistance they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools offer partial scholarships while others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Apple Valley CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Apple Valley home, visit the college and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Apple Valley CA, make certain that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.