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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Schools

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college has to be within driving distance from your Bakersfield CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options as well. But selecting the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your house are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's essential to confirm that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive evaluation 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 training are excellent, it may also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Bakersfield California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Prepare 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) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States calling for licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Bakersfield CA college you enroll in should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, 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 profession and its students are sought after. It might also indicate that the college has a large network of Bakersfield CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Bakersfield CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Bakersfield CA programs you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Bakersfield home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design program you enroll in provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Bakersfield CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.