Permaculture Design Classes/Courses
I am interested in taking a permaculture design course this spring. I am very wary, however, of dropping $1000+ on a course that I know little about with no recommendations.
What should I look for in a permaculture course; i.e. how do I know it is good? Who has had positive and negative experiences with courses? Should I simply take a one-day orientation or go for a full two-week course? Is it necessary to stay within or near my growing zone (zone 5)? Are there other questions I should be asking?
My background: I am currently a Master Gardener in Iowa seeking to expand my knowledge and prepare for a future of backyard market gardening. I believe deeply in the principals of sustainability and designing with nature, but I have only recently encountered the concept of permaculture. I am very new to the discipline, but it seems to be a perfect fit with my values and my future direction. My professional experience is as a software interface designer and usability specialist.