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Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college needs to be within commuting distance from your Bell Gardens CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices also. But picking the cheapest school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other things that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others in order to help you examine and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer school and program that you choose has been accredited by 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 obtaining 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 recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Bell Gardens California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require 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 school. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of work experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an excellent education, the Bell Gardens CA college you enroll in should also furnish the proper training to pass the NCIDQ exam and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Bell Gardens CA business contacts where they can place students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Bell Gardens CA schools you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited program is imperative for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school 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 personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Bell Gardens CA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Bell Gardens home, go to the college and monitor a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching styles are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Bell Gardens CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.