Harrington College of Design

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Harrington College of Design
Address, , ,
41°52′56″N 87°38′04″W / 41.88226°N 87.63445°W / 41.88226; -87.63445Coordinates: 41°52′56″N 87°38′04″W / 41.88226°N 87.63445°W / 41.88226; -87.63445

Harrington College of Design (1931–2015) was a for-profit college in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois that closed in 2015.[1] It offered students programs leading to either a master's, bachelor's, or associate's degree upon completion of the Interior Design Program, Digital Photography Program, or Communication Design Program. Each program was credentialed with multiple levels of accreditation. The school was owned by Career Education Corporation.


The school traced its history to 1931 when Frances Harrington, a practicing interior designer, traveled to Chicago to provide a series of lectures for interior design professionals. She soon found a growing interest in the study of interior design and expanded her offerings by creating the Harrington Institute of Interior Design.

As Harrington Institute grew, Ms. Harrington began providing diplomas to her qualified day division students. When she retired in 1959, her former student Robert Marks assumed leadership of the school. Marks added many programs and degree options to the school's curriculum. Changes in programs, which are now under the guidance of the school's professional Advisory Board, are driven by input from the design industry's professional organizations.[2]

In 2003, Harrington Institute changed its name to Harrington College of Design after being purchased by Career Education Corporation, and proceeded to expand the school's design-related programs of study. The school moved to its current location at 200 W. Madison Street and mandated an annual 20% enrollment increase, which they were able to sustain for a few years until the economy faltered then crashed in 2008. The campus at 200 W. Madison Street in Chicago closed at the end of the summer semester in August 2015.


Harrington College of Design offered Bachelor's and associate degrees in Interior Design, Digital Photography and Communication Design[3]


Harrington was regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools from January 01 2010 until June 30 2015[4] and nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Since the school has both regional accreditation and national accreditation, most schools will accept their credits in transfer and recognize their degrees for entry into graduate programs.[5][6][7][8]

Additionally, Harrington was recognized as a private college by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and was authorized by the IBHE to confer associate, baccalaureate and master's degrees. The Interior Design Program leading to the bachelor of fine arts degree was accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (formerly FIDER). The college was also accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.

Harrington College of Design’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design was accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (formerly FIDER). The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Interior Design was not accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.[9]


Harrington had a six-story, 82,000 square feet (7,600 m2) vertical campus located in the Chicago Loop. Three floors of the campus served as a display space, designed to hold a mix of classrooms, galleries and offices. Harrington also had an extensive library that contains updated digital research for students.


Harrington College of Design belonged to several organizations:

  • American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Student Chapter — Helps students gain connections with professionals in the design industry.[10]
  • International Interior Design Association (IIDA) — A professional networking and education association that serves the interior design community.
  • American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) — The leading association of photographers supporting photographers.


  1. ^ "Harrington students settle in at Columbia after college closing". The Columbia Chronicle. 2015-11-30. Retrieved 2017-08-31.
  2. ^ Online Education Database Archived January 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Harrington College of Design - Education Center Online Archived May 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs". ope.ed.gov. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  5. ^ Demanding Credit, Inside Higher Education website, dated October 19, 2005 by Scott Jaschik Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Tussling Over Transfer of Credit, Inside Higher Education website, February 26, 2007 by Doug Lederman Archived January 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ What is the Difference Between Regional and National Accreditation, Yahoo! Education website Archived January 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Types of Accreditation, Education USA website Archived April 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Council for Interior Design Accreditation Archived December 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ ASID, student chapter schools Archived January 15, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

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