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What to Ask Interior Designer Programs

After you have decided on the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of evaluating your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Burlingame CA home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will decrease your choices also. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other things 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 reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national 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 a rigorous assessment of their teachers and programs. Just make sure that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Burlingame California employers will only hire graduates of accredited colleges for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Burlingame CA school you choose should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill 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 design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It might also signify that the school has a significant network of Burlingame CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Burlingame CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they offer. Many of interior design programs provide financial assistance to their incoming students. Various schools provide partial scholarships while others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that choosing an accredited school is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Burlingame CA programs you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Burlingame home, go to the campus and attend a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design school you choose provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Burlingame CA, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.