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Topics to Ask Interior Design Colleges

Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of analyzing your school options. Location will be an important issue, particularly if the school must be within driving distance from your Chatsworth CA residence. Obviously if you are interested in attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The cost of tuition will limit your choices also. But choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house are not the best ways to make your selection. There are other factors that you should look at as well, such as the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a few questions that you may want to ask the programs you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you compare and ultimately choose the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer School Accredited? It's imperative to confirm that the interior design program and school that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools earning accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it may also help when securing financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Chatsworth California employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready 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 some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of occupational experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Chatsworth CA college you enroll in should also provide the suitable education to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet 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 received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design profession and its students are sought after. It may also indicate that the school has a significant network of Chatsworth CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Chatsworth CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of assistance they provide. Many of interior design programs provide financial aid to their incoming students. Certain schools provide partial scholarships and others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited program is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a program that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its competitors because they provide more generous financial aid.

How Big are the Classes? Small classes are more personal and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive minimal individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Chatsworth CA programs you are considering what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If convenient from your Chatsworth home, go to the campus and sit in on a few classes. While there speak with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, verify that the interior design college you enroll in provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you will continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Chatsworth CA, make certain that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, check what the process is for making up classes missed because of work, family or illness.