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What to Ask Interior Designer Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the college must be within driving distance from your Campbell CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are willing to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will decrease your choices as well. But picking the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the optimal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you need to consider as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are considering to get those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's important to confirm that the interior designer program and college that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. 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 undergone an extensive evaluation of their instructors and programs. Just verify 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 establish that the reputation of the college and the quality of the education are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Campbell California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, 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, 2 or more years of professional experience may be required as well. So aside from providing an exceptional education, the Campbell CA college you enroll in should also furnish the appropriate training to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some assistance in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are held in high esteem within the interior design trade and its students are in demand. It may also indicate that the college has a large network of Campbell CA business connections where they can refer students to secure internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid departments for the Campbell CA colleges you are evaluating and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior design schools offer financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide help in obtaining grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. In some cases a college that has a higher tuition may actually be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Campbell CA programs you are considering what their average teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Campbell home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there talk with a few 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? Finally, make sure that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly significant if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Campbell CA, make sure that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an option also. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.