A trade or technical school can offer sound training for people interested in changing or expanding their technical or service skills. The following are some suggestions for evaluating a school to determine which is best suited to meet your individual needs. To begin, obtain catalogs or bulletins from several schools. Make sure that the school you are considering is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Office of Education or the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation. Accreditation means that the school has met and maintained standards established by the accrediting agency. Adult education programs at public schools and community colleges may, in certain instances, offer the courses you need at a lower cost. Trade & technical schools use sales representatives to promote the school and sign up new students. However, these representatives may not be affiliated with the school other than in a sales capacity. If the representative cannot satisfactorily answer all of your questions, don't sign a contract until you have all the information you need. Ask how long the school has been in operation? What has its enrollment been over the past several years? How many students graduated, and how many of those graduates currently have jobs? The school should furnish you with a statement of its policies regarding fees and tuition charges. Example: Does the tuition fee cover all materials needed for this course? Make certain that it is clearly understood what is involved in the course selection you make, as well as your rights and responsibilities before you sign. Do not rely on oral promises that add to or change the terms of your written contract; make sure that any changes or additions are included in a written statement. When considering any type of instructional course you should realize success depends not only on the merits of the course of instruction, the students aptitude and diligence, but also on the state of the job market. Prospective students should understand that no school can guarantee employment for its graduates.