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What to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have chosen the interior designer degree that you would like to earn, you can start the process of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical factor, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Cerritos CA residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualification. The expense for tuition will narrow down your options as well. But picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you need to consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the college. Following are a few concerns that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers in addition to others to help you assess and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's necessary to confirm that the interior design college and program that you enroll in has been accredited by either a regional or national organization. One of the most highly regarded in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding evaluation of their programs and instructors. Just make sure 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 school and the quality of the education are outstanding, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Cerritos California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the School Prepare you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, several 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 several of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required as well. Therefore besides providing an exceptional education, the Cerritos CA program you select should also furnish the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and comply with the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be employed.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and earned your interior design certification, you will probably want some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, ask what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the college and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It might also signify that the school has a sizable network of Cerritos CA business contacts where they can refer students to secure internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Get in touch with the financial assistance departments for the Cerritos CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of support they provide. Many of interior designer programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Various colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Sometimes a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its competitors because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Large are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you probably will receive limited individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Cerritos CA schools you are reviewing what their average teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Cerritos home, go to the school and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to speak with a few students and find out what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, verify that the interior design college you select provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you will continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Cerritos CA, confirm that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, ask what the protocol is for making up classes missed because of illness, work or family emergencies.