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Questions to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

After you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the school has to be within commuting distance from your Camarillo CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are willing to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The cost of tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the ideal degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior designer school and program that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone an extensive assessment of their instructors and programs. Just confirm that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Not only will it help verify that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when applying for financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Camarillo California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States requiring licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Camarillo CA college you enroll in should also provide the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first position. 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 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 college has a sizable network of Camarillo CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Available? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Camarillo CA colleges you are looking at and ask what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer colleges offer financial assistance to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships while others provide help in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a program that has a higher tuition may actually be cheaper 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 large, you probably will receive limited individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Camarillo CA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Camarillo home, visit the school 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 philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior designer program you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially significant if you will continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Camarillo CA, verify that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, check that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, family or illness.