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What to Ask Interior Design Programs

Once you have selected the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college needs to be within driving distance from your Carmichael CA home. Naturally if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you should look at also, such as the accreditation and reputation of the program. Below are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the schools you are considering to get those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently choose the right degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to make sure that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous assessment of their programs and instructors. Just confirm 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Carmichael California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, a number of States do require 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 school. And in several of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Carmichael CA program you enroll in should also provide the suitable education 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? Once you have graduated and earned your interior designer certification, you will no doubt need some help in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, ask what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent indication that the school and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design trade and its students are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a substantial network of Carmichael CA business connections where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Carmichael CA schools you are reviewing and find out what kind of assistance they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in obtaining federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed 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 ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more intimate and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Carmichael CA colleges you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Carmichael home, go to the college and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with some students and ask 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 Fit your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you select offers classes the fit your busy schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Carmichael CA, make certain that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, ask what the procedure is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.