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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the school must be within commuting distance from your Azusa CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending an online school, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the colleges you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected 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 instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Azusa California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Azusa CA program you select should also provide the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first position. Ask the schools that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a substantial network of Azusa CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Azusa CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they provide. A number of interior designer colleges provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Azusa CA programs you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Azusa home, visit the campus and attend a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Fit your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Azusa CA, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.