Frequently Asked Questions
We are confident that Sheffield School offers the right distance education programs for you. In the following Q&A format, we answer key questions about Sheffield School, so that you can be sure that Sheffield School will meet your highest expectations. If you don't find the answer to your question here, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-445-7279.
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Q. Is the Sheffield School accredited?
Yes, the Sheffield School is accredited by the New York State Department of Education and its curriculum is submitted for approval on a regular basis. The Sheffield School is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which was founded in 1926 to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices. The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is cited by the US Department of Education as the "nationally recognized accrediting agency". The Council for Higher Education also recognizes the Accrediting Commission.
The school is also licensed by the New York State Education Department, one of the toughest accrediting bodies in the country. Find out more about our accreditation here.
Q. Do I need to have any special training or work experience before enrolling in a Sheffield School Course?
Each of our Courses teaches you from the ground up. We start with the basics, and then build on this foundation until you've achieved mastery of advanced techniques. If you do have prior experience, that's fine. Some of the material might be a review for you, but you'll also learn a great deal that is brand-new, including countless insider tricks-of-the-trade.
However, please note that a high school diploma or equivalency is required to enroll in any of the courses we offer.
Q. I've been away from school for some time. Will I have difficulty adjusting to being back in school?
Q.How much time must I devote to studying?
Q. Do I get personal supervision and help?
Q. Does my tuition fee cover the entire cost of the course?
Q. Is Sheffield School training appropriate for someone who wants to explore a creative field, but isn't necessarily interested in a new career?
Q. How long are Sheffield School Courses?
Our Courses cover a lot of information, so you won't be able to race through them. And because you set your own pace, we can't tell you exactly how long it will take to finish one of our Courses. If you study several hours a week, you might finish in 6-8 months. If you take a more leisurely approach you might take a year, or even longer. Depending on which Course you choose, it may take longer. For example, the Interior Design course workload makes it difficult to finish in less than a year.
You have up to three years to complete your Course of study at no extra charge. The beauty of a distance education school is that you can learn with us from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace.
Q. How much do the Sheffield School courses cost?
Q. How do I enroll in the Sheffield School?
Q. Do I need special artistic talent?
Q. How and when can I start earning money in my new field?
Q. What do I need to succeed in my Course?
There are three things we need you to bring to your Sheffield Course:
- A computer with internet access
- A reasonable knowledge of written and spoken English.
- A willingness to learn.
We do the rest. You can count on us to give you the education and the support that you need to succeed in your chosen field.
Q. Do I need to have internet access?
Yes. You will receive your project evaluations via email. And some courses will include online comprehension tests. If you do not have a computer, you can always use a computer at a local library or at an internet cafe.
Q. Does the school provide job placement or internship opportunities?
Unfortunately, because we have students from all over the world, not just in one region we are not able to offer opportunities like this. However, the student advisor will gladly help you brain-storm about ways to find some in your area. And we also offer an alumni association for those students who complete the program with job listings and other career services to come in the near future.
Q. Do you offer financial aid or other tuition assistance?
Because of the shorter length of our courses, we are not eligible for standard financial assistance programs that are offered by two- or four-year schools or federal agencies. Our low tuition and monthly payment program are designed to make it possible for students to afford the training on their own.
Q. What is the school's plagiarism policy?
Sheffield School's Policy on Plagiarism:
Educators at all levels are aware that allegations of plagiarism and other forms of student cheating are on the rise in high schools and colleges across the country. While there should be no reason for a student to practice any sort of academic dishonesty in a program that is designed for self-improvement, we have the same commitment to academic integrity that all accredited schools share.
The Sheffield School maintains a zero-tolerance policy toward plagiarism.
All work submitted by Sheffield students must be the student’s own work and the result of the student’s own effort. Otherwise, it is plagiarism. Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of work in any form, which is not one’s own work without acknowledgement of the source or sources of that material. Plagiarism can include presenting work produced in collaboration with someone else as being entirely original, or it can be a quotation or paraphrase of someone else’s material, as well as direct copying.
If ideas or information come from a source, that source must be acknowledged and credited either by attribution, footnote, or any other accepted technique depending on the medium. Direct copying of someone else’s words is the most overt form of plagiarism.
Any type of plagiarism is unacceptable and will be grounds for dropping a student from any Sheffield course. All possible instances of plagiarism are reported to the School’s Director who may use any means necessary to investigate the matter.
If you have any question about how to properly cite a source, please contact your student advisor before you submit any finished work to the School. If you have any questions on this topic, please contact your student advisor. For more information about plagiarism, you can visit the site www.plagiarism.org. The FAQ section there is particularly helpful.
Finally, Sheffield students should be aware that in addition to consequences involving your enrollment in the school, plagiarism of copyrighted material can be a violation of U.S. copyright laws and lead to legal action and proceedings.
Q. I don't see my country listed on the enrollment form.
If your country is not listed on the enrollment form, this is because we do not current accept credit cards from this country. In order to enroll, you must first contact the school and complete a bank transfer. If you have any questions about this please call us at 212-661-7270.
Course Specific Questions
Q. What type of feedback do I get on my design projects?
You will be emailed an audio MP3 file with your instructor’s detailed review of your project. He or she will let you know how you did, and will suggest ways that you can improve moving forward.
Q. Are there exams I must take?
There are short quizzes – but only in Units 2 through 5.
Q. How do I get graded?
You will receive a grade based on a combination of your 6 design projects and the 4 quizzes.
Q. How and when should I expect to receive my critique?
Your instructor will make an audio recording of their personal critique for you. The audio critique will be sent to you by email as an MP3 file which can be downloaded and saved.
Your projects will be reviewed and put in the mail within 2-3 weeks of being received. (Delivery timing depends on your location – Continental United States: 1-2 weeks, Canada: 2-3 weeks, International: 4-6 weeks)
Q. Will I need to buy supplies to complete projects in the course?
The cost of the course includes all the supplies, tools and materials needed to complete the first 4 Units (there are 6 Units in the course) which create a foundation in terms of technique, experience and experimentation. The last two units involve the student creating their own collection of jewelry. To do this correctly the student needs to control all aspects of the supplies they use (price, availability of materials and location of suppliers all come into play and differ from student to student). Because these supplies are up to the individual student and are not pre-determined, they are not provided by the school.
Q. Am I allowed to use my own supplies to complete projects if I prefer?
Of course! We want to encourage you as a designer to use the materials you are drawn to. Our goal is to give you everything you need to create your projects, not to stop you from experimenting or using additional or different materials.
Wedding & Event Planning
Q. How does the course work?
The course consists of (6) units. The first (4) units are comprised of three or four lessons that each culminate in a multiple-choice exam. The exams are online and in the book, and students without internet access can opt to have answer sheets mailed to them.
Units 5 and 6 comprise the “Virtual Internship.” These units consist of a series of case studies typical of the wedding and event planning industry, and crafted to test the student’s cumulative knowledge from the course. Each case study presents a “problem” scenario, to which the student generates a written response. This could be a timeline, an email to clients or vendors, an articulated plan to deal with difficult personalities, a delineated budget, a design proposal, or a sample contract. Units 5 and 6 are separately submitted to a student evaluator. Each student receives a written grade report and a detailed oral evaluation of their submission.
Q. How does your school compare to other schools offering the same course? Why should I choose you over them?
The strongest points of our course are: 1) It was developed in tandem with a very successful NYC-based wedding planner, owner of Always a Bridesmaid, Xochitl Gonzalez; and 2) The Virtual Internship portion of the course which prepares you for real world planning. It allows you as a student to have a full in-depth critique of your skills by a seasoned pro in the industry.
Q. If I take the course will I be a “Certified Wedding Coordinator” or a member of ABC, IWEP, etc.?
There is no required “certification” for wedding and event planners, and the industry is not regulated by any licensing or certification agency. Anyone can be an event planner at any time. This course is designed to educate you on HOW to do it. Once a student completes the course he or she receives a graduate certificate of completion. Many professional organizations accept members once they are practicing, and some have student memberships. ISES, The International Special Events Society, is one of the best and will accept Sheffield student members. We are also affiliated with ABC, the Association of Bridal Consultants, and graduates of the program are eligible to join at a discount.
Q. Is this course just about weddings or is it also about event planning?
Our course definitely has a wedding focus, but the truth is weddings are one kind of social event and once you have mastered the necessary skills and knowledge to plan a wedding you can plan any other kind of social event. This includes birthdays, fund-raisers, galas, private dinners, bar and bat mitzvahs, public events, and more. A section of Unit 5 covers other kinds of events and really illuminates how what you have learned in the course can be applied across many different types of events and celebrations.
Q. Will this course teach me how to open my own business?
This course does focus on starting your own wedding planning business, and Unit 4 covers the essential knowledge to do so, such as legal issues, tax and business registration, budgeting, developing a business plan, marketing, advertising, and more.