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Subjects to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Now that you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Atascadero CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices also. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, many Atascadero California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in several of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required also. Therefore in addition to providing an excellent education, the Atascadero CA program you enroll in should also provide the appropriate 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 School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a significant network of Atascadero CA business contacts where they can place students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Atascadero CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of aid they offer. A number of interior designer schools offer financial aid to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive 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 large, you may receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Atascadero CA colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Atascadero home, go to the school and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior designer college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Atascadero CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.