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Topics to Ask Interior Design Schools

Now that you have decided on the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be an important factor, particularly if the campus has to be within commuting distance from your Carlsbad CA home. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will decrease your options also. But picking the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the programs you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you assess and ultimately select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's necessary to verify that the interior designer school and program that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have gone through an extensive assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm that both the college and the degree program 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 outstanding, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carlsbad California employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become 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 college. And in some of those States requiring licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So aside from furnishing an exceptional education, the Carlsbad CA college you select should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some assistance in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design field and its students are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Carlsbad CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Get in touch with the financial assistance offices for the Carlsbad CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior design programs offer financial assistance to their incoming students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that choosing an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Carlsbad CA programs you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Carlsbad home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to 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 Accessible that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design school you choose offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Carlsbad 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 alternative as well. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.