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What to Ask Interior Designer Schools

Now that you have chosen the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the process of reviewing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus needs to be within driving distance from your Calexico CA home. Of course if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will limit your choices as well. But choosing the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your house are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should consider as well, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the schools you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you examine and ultimately select the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design college and program that you select has been accredited by either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when securing financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Calexico California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do mandate that interior designers become licensed. This would require 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 mandating licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore aside from furnishing an outstanding education, the Calexico CA college you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first job. Ask the schools that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It may also signify that the college has a substantial network of Calexico CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Calexico CA colleges you are looking at and find out what type of support they offer. A number of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships while others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. Again it must be stressed that enrolling in an accredited school is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Calexico CA programs you are reviewing what their typical student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Calexico home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Calexico CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of work, sickness or family obligations.