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What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school has to be within driving distance from your Banning CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will narrow down your options also. But selecting the most affordable school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you enroll in has been accredited by either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Banning California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides furnishing an excellent education, the Banning CA college you select should also provide the suitable training 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 College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are looking at if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Banning CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Banning CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. A number of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Banning CA programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Banning home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few 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 Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Banning CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.