Harper College

Paths to College and Career: Free Career Exploration and Intensive Training

You have many opportunities ahead of you, and Harper College is a great place to start. Through the Paths to College and Career program, you can think about your future in a new way, explore career fields, and take advantage of intensive training. Most training programs are FREE to you if you qualify, and additional scholarships are available when you are ready to take the next step.


Click on the plus (+) icons below to learn more about the support services and courses available:

The Guided Basic Skills Tutoring Lab is a free individualized, self-paced basic skills tutoring using educational software. A teacher is available to help you get started and provide additional support.

  • Basic computer skills: Introduction to Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook using NorthStar Digital Literacy software
  • Basic academic skills: Math, reading, and writing using Essential Education software
  • Locations:
    • Prospect Heights Learning and Career Center, 1375 S. Wolf Rd., Prospect Heights, IL
      • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am to 12 pm
    • Hanover Park Education and Work Center, 6704 Barrington Rd., Hanover Park, IL
      • Mondays and Fridays, 9 am to 12 pm
  • 11/16 - 12/14/2023 (Thursdays), 5-7 pm. First day in Prospect Heights. Last day in Palatine. Other days online. 


  • 10/16 - 12/10, Online/Self-paced

Learn the fundamentals of payroll accounting including the preparation of payroll records and tax returns for old age benefits and employment insurance. Learn to construct a Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Employer’s Annual Unemployment Tax Return, and Illinois Employer’s Contribution Report. Upon request this course can be converted to college credit for course ACC155 and partially fulfills the requirement to earn the Accounting Bookkeeping Clerk Certificate for college credit. Prior accounting course or experience required.

  • 10/16 - 12/10, Online/Self-paced

Whether you’re a business owner or someone who needs to know how to use QuickBooks in your employer's company or organization, this course will deliver the skills you need to perform. Learn how set up, backup and store company files; create custom reports and graphs; prepare budgets and payroll; and track changes in your financial accounts. Students should have knowledge of accounting and have taken LBS 8010, Intro to Accounting, or have approval from the College. Upon request, this course can be converted to College credit. This blended course combines online and campus instruction.

  • 9/26 to 12/15 (T/Th), 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm in Palatine

Learn about Windows 10, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Remote Work, and Effective Business Writing. Students will meet with an experienced instructor and then complete projects incorporating Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 

  • 10/10 - 10/26 (T, Th), 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Online Live
  • 11/28 - 12/14 (T, Th), 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, Online Live

Gives students a well-rounded view of some of the professional skills needed in today’s workforce. Covers topics to help students learn how to communicate well and manage time. Reviews the principles of equity and inclusion and how to collaborate with others with different points of view. Teaches students about leveraging technology, solving problems and the principles and practices of strategic innovation.

  • 9/12 (T), 10 am to 11 am, Live Online
  • 11/7 (T), 10 am to 11 am, Live Online

This course provides students with an introduction to basic digital skills needed for today’s workforce. Includes an overview of operating systems, cloud-based word processing, spreadsheets, presentation applications, collaboration and remote work basics and online job seeking strategies.

  • 9/19 (T), 10 am to 11 am, Live Online
  • 11/16 (T), 10 am to 11 am, Live Online

This course teaches students how to manage the main tasks of an online job search. Learn how to keep track of jobs and to manage the application process using a spreadsheet, explore strategies to use Google Search to find open positions, learn the basic strategies and tips for online interviewing and more.

  • 9/14 (Th), 10 am to 11 am, Live Online
  • 11/9 (Th), 10 am to 11 am, Live Online

This course provides students with the tools needed to design a targeted resume to use when applying for positions in today’s job market. Learn how to create and save your resume in cloud-based platforms so they can be accessed anytime from any device with a wifi connection. Learn the strategies to make your resume stand out and speak specifically to the targeted position. Includes cover letter and follow-up strategies. Topic will cover how to save resumes in different forms such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs and PDF formats.

  • 11/7 - 11/16, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm, in Prospect Heights

Provides instruction to students to meet the 36-hour IDPH requirement for activity directors, activity aides/assistants, and others involved with long-term care residents. Instructs participants on how to develop unique programming to meet the recreational needs of residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, intellectual disabilities, and serious mental illness

  • 9/18 - 12/11 (M), 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Online Live

Prepare to become a dental assistant in this online 12-week program. Topics include anatomy and physiology, infection control, imaging, and patient care. You will learn your role in supporting dentists and dental hygienists in a rapidly growing industry. All materials are mailed to your home once you register.

  • TBD

This is the initial American Heart Association (AHA) Healthcare Providers CPR class. Learn about cardiovascular health and risk factors for heart disease. Practice techniques for choking victims, rescue breathing, CPR, and the use of an AED. 

  • TBD

Prepare for the National League of Nursing (NLN) pre-entrance exam (PAX) in this review course. The NLN PAX exam is required if for students seeking admission to most Health Career programs at Harper College.  Taught by content experts who will review verbal areas, math, biology, anatomy, chemistry and test taking strategies. 

  • 9/27 - 10/4 (W), 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  • 12/5 - 12/12 (T), 6:00 pm - 9:15 pm

Gain a general awareness of AI and approaches to equip the future workforce with technical confidence to learn and apply AI Skills independently. Learn about emerging technologies and what AI Skills are needed for employment in a digital economy. Learn how AI is inclusive, impacts daily life and the identify SMART components. AI applications, development, challenges and internal workings will also be covered.

  • 10/11 - 11/15 (W), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine

Explores how Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to evolve rapidly with numerous applications across many industries. Learns how the AI Project Cycle is an iterative approach to building AI solutions in this interactive course. Gains knowledge of machine learning tools and python packages. Prepares students for AI for business solutions and other emerging applications and technology. Prerequisite: CE Introduction to Artificial Intelligence or equivalent experience.

  • 9/12 - 10/12 (T, Th), 6:00 - 9:15 pm, in Palatine

Covers the creation of basic 2D drawings using drawing and editing tools, organization of drawing objects on layers, addition of text and basic dimensions, preparation for plotting and more sophisticated techniques for drawing setup and productivity. Designed for new users of AutoCAD software.

  • Nov. 20 and Dec 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, (M/W), 6-10 pm, online

Covers the duties of those responsible for implementing, managing, and maintaining computer systems and a networking architecture in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment platform as well as preparing students to take the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate certification exam. Supports an array of cloud service models, including Infrastructure-As-A-Service, Platform-As-A-Service, and Software-As-A-Service. Introduces the tools and knowledge needed to support existing cloud resources incorporated in these service models or on-premises resources that will eventually migrate to the cloud.

  • 9/11 - 12/11 (M), 6:00 - 10:15 pm, 

Prepare for a career as an information technology (IT) professional or personal computer (PC) technician. Learn how to install, upgrade, repair, configure, troubleshoot, optimize, and perform preventive maintenance of personal computer hardware and operating systems. This course helps prepare you for the CompTIA A+ certification examinations in order to become a CompTIA A+ Certified Professional. Prerequisites: Be able to browse and search the Internet, operate a personal computer, and work with operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.

  • 10/17 - 11/21 (T), 6:00 - 9:30 pm, in Palatine

Explores how to be part of new technologies that will shape how we live and work. Provides an understanding of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data, internet of things (IoT), augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain, digital privacy, and more. Designed to help students discover their tech path, from a basic understanding of emerging technology or to pursue a career or advanced training in this field.

  • 9/19 - 12/7 (T, Th), 6:00 - 9:15 pm, in Palatine

Courses include HTML, CSS, Web Design and Usability Techniques, Javascript Programming, Responsive Web Frameworks, and Interactive Website Design Portfolio Workshop. 

  • 11/7 - 11/16 (T, Th), 6:00 - 9:15 pm in Palatine

In this course, students will be learning the foundations and fundamentals of the field of Information Security. This course will be covered in three parts that provide students with a modern perspective and approach to the vastly growing industry and its subgroups:  What is information Security and why is it important? What are the various roles and their responsibilities in the industry? What does it take to break into a role and/or excel in a current one?

  • 10/30 - 11/1 (M, W), 6:00 - 9:15 pm in Prospect Heights

If you are considering a career in Information Technology (IT), or want to gain a solid understanding of IT to help with your professional career, this course will provide you with the foundational knowledge on personal computers and Information Technology concepts. Explore which devices, operating systems and computer applications are commonly used at the workplace. Focus will also be applied to more advanced IT topics such as Networking, Databases and Security Concepts.

  • 9/13 - 10/18 (W), 6 pm to 9:15 pm, Online Live

Establish knowledge to become sufficient as a beginner Python programmer. Identify the benefits and usefulness of Python including excellent readability and uncluttered simple-to-learn syntax which helps beginners to utilize this programming language. Basic computer experience is required. 

  • 10/3 - 12/2 (Tuesdays), 6:00-10:00pm in Palatine (NO CLASS ON 10/31)

Provides students with a hands-on introduction to information technology and computer support concepts. Includes hardware, operating systems, applications, networking, Internet connectivity and services, security, software development, and database fundamentals.

  • 10/9 - 12/4 (M), 6:00 - 9:15 pm, Online

 Identifies foundational level knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure. Covers general cloud computing concepts as well as general cloud computing models and services such as Public, Private and Hybrid cloud and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Explores some core Azure services and solutions, as well as key Azure pillar services concerning security, privacy, compliance and trust. Prepares for Microsoft certification exam AZ-900.

  • 10/3 - 10/24 (T), 6:00 - 9:15 pm in Palatine
  • 11/28 - 12/7 (T, Th), 6:00 - 9:15 pm in Palatine

Students will learn the essentials to one of the most important soft-skills that is under-utilized in the broad Tech Industry – Public Speaking. Learn the skill of effectively breaking down technical, complex subjects in a concise and efficient manner. Master the art of persuasion which is used to drive and align ideas and people under a centralized agenda or core business objective. This highly sought-after skill broadens opportunities in the tech space and creates a sense of unmatched confidence. Intended for current professionals or highly motivated students who understand the need of this skill and are able to apply it to current roles, responsibilities, and interviews. The course consists of lectures, discussions, and a final assessment. Students will also be provided with strong career-based direction to set engaging and self-empowering goals to help ensure the skills learned are applied accordingly to a current or future role.


  • 10/3 - 10/31 (T), 6:00 - 9:15 pm, Online Live

Demonstrates how tools connect to and transform massive amounts of data into visualizations, dashboards and interactive worksheets. Learns how to identify and configure basic functions of Tableau. Creates views and customize data visualizations. Creates maps, dashboards, and stories. This course is intended for individuals using desktop or web-based data management tools to perform numerical data analysis. Recommended Preparation: experience using Excel and an understanding of database design concepts.

  • 11/6 - 11/27 (M), 6:00 - 9:30 pm in Palatine

Explores the basics of web design and web development skills including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. Demonstrates how they are used together on a website. Prerequisite: Introduction to Computers Using Windows or equivalent experience

  • 9/11 - 9/22 (M, W, F), 9:00 am - 3:00 pm in Palatine
  • 10/23 - 11/3 (M, W, F), 9:00 am - 3:00 pm in Palatine

Provides students with the tools and resources needed to sit for the General Knowledge, Passenger and Air Brakes written examinations as administered by the Illinois Secretary of State, Commercial Driver’s License Division. Helps students gain a thorough understanding of the current laws, rules, and regulations that govern the operation of a Class B Commercial Motor Vehicle. Requires that students complete a pre-test to determine their mastery of instructions provided and their preparedness for State exams, which is required prior to sitting for the written examination.

  • 10/9 (M, W), 5:00 - 7:00 pm in Palatine
  • 10/14 (S), 8:00 am - 3:30 pm in Palatine
  • 11/6 - 11/29 (M, W), 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm in Palatine

This course is designed to provide students with the tools and resources needed to become safe and effective forklift operators. Upon completion of the program, students will have working knowledge of the basic use of lift truck as well as the ability to safely inspect and operate lift trucks. The curriculum includes theory and practical training. Upon successful completion, students receive a National Safety Council Forklift operator card and Certificate of Completion from Harper College.

  • 10/2 - 11/20 (M), 6:00 - 7:45 pm in Prospect Heights

Reviews the many aspects of handling trade internationally and discovers the basics of what trade is and how companies utilize it. Discusses the particulars of processes, legality, and oversight for import procedures. Gains the skills and knowledge about how the entire company contributes to the international trade process. Learns about export regulations and 19 Code of Federal Regulations requirements.

  • 9/27 - 11/15 (W), 6:00 - 7:45 pm in Prospect Heights

This course will review supply chain processes and go in-depth to discuss both export compliance and import compliance. It will introduce methods in creating trade compliance programs within companies as well as risk mitigation and money-saving opportunities.



The Paths to College and Careers Progra at paths@harpercollege.edu or 847.925.6000, Extension 2287

Information and offerings are subject to change. This program is made possible by the Illinois Community College Board's Innovative Bridge and Transition Grant.

Last Updated: 11/14/23