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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Now that you have selected the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of analyzing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, especially if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Beaumont CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will decrease your options as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer college and program 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 obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their teachers and programs. Just confirm 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 verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Beaumont California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in several of those States requiring licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to furnishing an excellent education, the Beaumont CA school you select should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will probably need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It could also indicate that the college has a significant network of Beaumont CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial aid offices for the Beaumont CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what kind of support they offer. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited program is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Beaumont CA colleges you are considering what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Beaumont home, go to the school and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Beaumont CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.