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What to Ask Interior Design Schools

When you have selected the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can start the task of reviewing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Cathedral City CA home. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The expense for tuition will narrow down your choices as well. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other issues that you should look at as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you examine and subsequently choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design College Accredited? It's imperative to verify that the interior designer program and school that you enroll in has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most highly regarded 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 evaluation of their programs and teachers. 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 establish that the reputation of the school and the quality of the education are excellent, it may also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not accessible for non-accredited colleges. Also, many Cathedral City California employers will only employ graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the Program Ready you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, a number of States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Cathedral City CA program you choose should also furnish the appropriate instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It could also signify that the school has a significant network of Cathedral City CA business relationships where they can place students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Available? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Cathedral City CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of support they provide. A number of interior design schools provide financial aid to their new students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that selecting an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classrooms? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Cathedral City CA schools you are looking at what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Cathedral City home, go to the campus and monitor a couple of classes. Take the opportunity to speak 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, confirm that the interior design program you select provides classes the fit your active schedule. This is especially significant if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Cathedral City CA, verify that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.