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Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Once you have decided on the interior design degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the task of reviewing your school options. Location will be an important factor, especially if the school must be within driving distance from your Ceres CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options also. But choosing the most affordable college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider also, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others in order to help you compare and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer College Accredited? It's important to verify that the interior design college and program that you choose has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Colleges earning accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding assessment 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 confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when obtaining financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Also, a number of Ceres California employers will only hire graduates of accredited programs for entry level jobs.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Ceres CA program you choose should also provide the suitable training to pass the NCIDQ exam and meet the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and obtained your interior design 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 high rate is an excellent indication that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its graduates are in demand. It could also indicate that the school has a large network of Ceres CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Contact the financial aid offices for the Ceres CA colleges you are looking at and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may effectively be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive little individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Ceres CA schools you are reviewing what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Ceres home, visit the campus and attend a few classes. While there speak with some students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, make sure that the interior designer school you enroll in offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ceres CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option as well. Finally, check what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.