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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have selected the interior design degree that you wish to earn, you can start the task of evaluating your school options. Location will be a critical issue, especially if the campus must be within driving distance from your Clovis CA residence. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your options also. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the optimal ways to make your selection. There are other variables that you should look at as well, such as the accreditation and reputation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the colleges you are reviewing to get those answers as well as others to help you compare and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It's imperative to make sure that the interior designer program and college that you select has been accredited by either a regional or national agency. One of the most respected in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools receiving accreditation from the NASAD have undergone a demanding assessment of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the degree program and the college have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are outstanding, it may also help when applying for financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Clovis California employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in addition to a degree from an accredited program. And in several of those States mandating licensing, at least 2 years of work experience may be required also. Therefore besides providing an outstanding education, the Clovis CA college you enroll in should also furnish the suitable instruction to pass the NCIDQ exam and fulfill the minimum requirements for licensing for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? After you have graduated and received your interior design certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If so, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is a good indication that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design profession and its students are in demand. It might also signify that the college has a substantial network of Clovis CA business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after they graduate.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Contact the financial assistance departments for the Clovis CA colleges you are reviewing and find out what type of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs provide financial assistance to their new students. Various schools provide partial scholarships and others provide support in acquiring federal student loans or grants. It must be stressed again that enrolling in an accredited school is important for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be less expensive than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Find out from the Clovis CA colleges you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Clovis home, go to the college and attend a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with a few students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their experiences have been in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Fit your Schedule? Last, confirm that the interior design program you enroll in offers classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Clovis CA, verify that those classes are offered. If working full-time means you can only enroll part-time, check that is an alternative as well. Finally, ask what the process is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.