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
  • Start any Tuesday or Thursday between 9 am and Noon at the Prospect Heights Learning and Career Center.
    • 5/30 to 6/27, (T) 3-5pm in Hanover Park and online
    • 5/30 to 6/27, (T) 5-7pm in Prospect Heights and online

    This course is designed for adult learners seeking career guidance and information about our technical programs.  The class will provide a fundamental introduction to the academic areas of interest at Harper College. Special focus will be given to career certificate and degree options. Throughout the course students will identify their career attributes through self-assessment and learn about various occupations that fit their unique career preferences.


  • 6/5 to 7/30, 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.

  • 5/22 to 7/16, Online/Self-paced
  • 6/5 to 7/30, 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.

  • TBA

Understand monetary figures which lead to the financial success of an organization. Learn the functions and tools of finance. Examine financial statements, balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and statement of stockholders' equity. Learn the steps of budgeting to meet organizational goals. General end-user computer, Microsoft Office Excel and Internet skills recommended.

  • 5/2 to 5/4 (T, Th), 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights

Identify what makes a product stand out and plan a strategy for reaching the customers who need it. Examine the stages of each sale—from finding the opportunity to realizing the deal— to create win-win situations for an organization and customers. Build interpersonal and negotiating skills to form lasting business relationships. General end-user computer, Microsoft Office Word and Excel, and Internet skills recommended.

  • 6/5 to 8/9 (M, W), 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights

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. 

  • 5/15 - 5/17 (M, W), 1:30 - 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights

Gain the essential needs in Math with a business approach. Covers whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, simple equations, and percentage formulas with examples of commissions, markups and markdowns, discounts, sales tax, simple and compound interest, and installment loans. Practice with bar, line and circle graphs, follow with just a touch of statistics -- averages, medians, modes, and more.

  • 5/22 - 5/24 (M, W), 1:30 - 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights

Refresh and refine your grammar usage for your professional life. Learn to state ideas clearly and concisely in written communications and present yourself in a professional manner. In this course, you will review the rules of grammar, identify common grammar errors, and refine your business writing style. Improving your grammar will help you deliver polished and professional written communications. Correct grammar and a refined, concise writing style can help you clearly express your ideas to others, streamline the directions and instructions that you deliver, and create impressive presentations and reports. This course is intended for working professionals in various job roles, both native and non-native English speakers, who use formal and informal written communications in the course of business, and who seek to improve their grammar usage.

  • 4/3 - 4/19 (Mon/Wed), 9 am to 12 pm) Online Live
  • 6/13 - 6/29 (T, Th), 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.

  • 5/22 - 7/5 (M, W), 11:15 am - 1:15 pm) at Hanover Park EWC

Introduces the use of computer, digital and information literacy skills in the workplace for Continuing Professional Education students. Focuses on familiarizing learners with very basic keyboarding functions and word processing. Introduces components of the Web and accessing a website using a browser such as Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. Develops critical thinking skills by evaluating online sources of information, comparing styles of communication and group problem-solving and discussion. Includes work readiness skills, workplace communication, job search and interview process and workforce/career preparation.

  • 4/13 (Th), 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.

  • 4/24 - 5/15 (M, W), 9 am to 11 am, Live Online
  • 7/11 - 8/1 (T, Th), 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, Live Online

This course will teach participants the strategies and techniques needed to conduct a successful online job search. Participants will learn how to use online job search tools and resources to find job opportunities that match their skills and interests, and how to effectively communicate their qualifications to potential employers. The course will cover a variety of topics, including resume writing, online networking, job search websites and applications, and interview preparation. By the end of this course, participants will have a solid understanding of how to conduct an effective online job search and be prepared to successfully navigate the job market.

  • 5/11 (Th), 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.

  • 4/27 (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.

  • 6/6 (Tues.), 8:30 am to 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights

This specialized workshop is specifically designed for activity assistants in long-term care, assisted living, supportive living, and senior housing communities. Topics will include: Activities for residents with dementia How to address and manage resident behaviors Leading groups, small and large Pioneer/Culture Change Model of Care and Services Programs for the short-term rehab resident One-to-one programs Documentation: care plans, progress notes, assessments and participation records

  • 8/1 - 8/10  (T, W, Th), 8:30 am to 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

  • 5/22 - 8/11, Online/Self-paced

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.

  • Apr 18 (Tues.), 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • May 5 (F), 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 6/1 (Th), 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 6/13 (Tues), 5:00 to 9:00 pm in Palatine
  • 6/15 (Th), 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 7/13 to 7/27 (Tues.), 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 8/1 (Tues.), 8:30 am to 12:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 8/1 (Tues.), 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Palatine

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. 

  • 5/16 to 6/6 (T, Th), 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Live Online
  • 7/18 to 8/8 (T, Th), 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Live Online

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. 

  • 5/22 to 8/11, Online/Self-paced

Prepares students to work under a registered pharmacist in hospitals, home infusion pharmacies, community pharmacies, or other healthcare settings. Teaches federal law, medications, aseptic techniques, calculations, and everyday pharmacy operations. Prepares students for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam. 

  • Apr 4 to May 16 (T/Th), 3 pm to 11 pm at offsite location (TBD)

Restart your career as a registered nurse in this refresher course. The first part of this unique program utilizes a blended approach to help you hone your critical thinking skills as you become familiar with the most current trends in nursing care. During the second part of the course, the Nursing Field Experience provides the opportunity to put theory into practice in a clinical setting. If you have been licensed in the US and desire to return to a patient care setting, this course is for you. Twenty CEs are awarded for RN license renewal in Illinois.

  • 4/4 to 4/6 (T/Th), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine
  • 6/13 to 6/20 (W), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine
  • 8/2 to 8/9 (W), 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Live Online

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.

  • 4/11 to 5/16 (W), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine
  • 6/27 to 8/8 (Tues), 6 pm to 9:15 pm, Live Online

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.

  • 6/20 to 7/25 (T/Th), 6 pm to 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.

  • 6/7 (Wed), 1:30 to 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 8/2 (Wed), 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Palatine

Learn about next generation robotics and automation systems. Robotic Automation is the process of using physical machines, computer software and other technologies to perform task done by humans.

  • 6/14 (Wed), 1:30 to 4:30 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 8/9 (Wed), 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Palatine

Gain an understanding on the digital systems, sensors, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, programming and alarm management.

  • 5/31 to 8/9 (W), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine

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.

  • TBA

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.

  • TBA

Learns that with increasing numbers of IoT devices being connected to the Internet, cybersecurity has become a vital requirement for the safe, reliable, and secure operation of those devices. Introduces cybersecurity topics in general: what is the purpose cybersecurity, what are the cybersecurity threats, and how to protect against them. Examines in detail some key components of cybersecurity like encryption and the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Analyzes and applies cybersecurity specifically in the Smart Energy DER use case and the IEEE 2030.5 communication standard.

  • 5/23 to 6/20 (T), 6 pm to 9 pm in Hanover Park or online.

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.

  • 7/10 to 7/19 (M, W), 5:30 to 8:30 pm in Prospect Heights

Learn to code your own web page and understand the relationship between HTML & CSS. Hands-on training walks you through the purpose, meaning, and proper structure of these foundation front-end languages. Topics include internet and website basics, commonly used HTML tags and C

SS declarations, and industry standard best practices. This course is one of the requirements for attaining the Interactive Website Designer Digital Badge. Prerequisite: Must be comfortable typing at least 15 words a minute and a solid understanding of Internet and Computing technologies.

  • 7/24 to 8/2 (M, W), 5:30 to 8:30 pm in Prospect Heights

Continue your HTML and CSS journey by creating responsive layouts with forms, video, and audio elements. Also, learn how to enhance design creativity with positioning, layers, and other advanced CSS techniques. This course is one of the requirements for attaining the Interactive Website Designer Digital Badge. Prerequisite: Introduction to HTML and CSS or equivalent experience. Must be comfortable typing at least 15 words a minute.

  • 5/9 to 5/18 (T/Th), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine
  • 8/8 to 8/17, (T/Th), 6 pm to 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?

  • 5/15 - 5/17 (M/W, 6-9:15pm) in Prospect Heights
  • 8/1 to 8/3 (T, Th), 6:00 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine

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.

  • 6/26 to 8/7 (M), 6 pm to 9:15 pm in Palatine

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. 

  • 6/8 to 8/10 (Th), 6:00 pm to 10:15 pm. Location to be determined.

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.

  • TBA

 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.

  • 8/1 (Tues.), 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Live Online
  • 8/17 (Thurs.), 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in Prospect Heights

Prepares students for the NABCEP Associate Exam, an industry-recognized credential for solar professionals. Provides instruction on photovoltaic applications, safety, electricity basics, solar energy, system components, as well as photovoltaic systems electrical and mechanical design. Covers key topics for certification preparation and gives an in-depth introduction to the field of solar energy.

  • TBA

Prepares students for the NABCEP Associate Exam, an industry-recognized credential for solar professionals. Provides instruction on photovoltaic applications, safety, electricity basics, solar energy, system components, as well as photovoltaic systems electrical and mechanical design. Covers key topics for certification preparation and gives an in-depth introduction to the field of solar energy.

  • TBA

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.

  • 6/6 to 6/15 (T, Th), 5:30 - 9:00 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

  • 6/5 to 6/16 (M/W/F), 9 am to 3 pm in Palatine
  • 7/10 to 7/21 (M/W/F), 9 am to 3 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.

  • 6/6 (Tues), 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at offsite location (Equipment Depot, 751 Expressway Drive, Itasca, IL)
  • 8/1 (Tues), 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at offsite location (Equipment Depot, 751 Expressway Drive, Itasca, IL)

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.

  • 6/5 to 7/31 (M), 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Live Online

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.

  •  4/13  - 5/4 (Th), 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 7/27 to 8/10 (Th), 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Prospect Heights
  1. Supply Chain Management Basics - Explore the organizational and process strategies used to design a supply chain. Learn the controls used to ensure needs are fulfilled in a satisfactory and cost-efficient manner.
  2. Distribution and Warehouse Essentials - Learn what distribution and warehousing practices and strategies exist within a global economy. Learn what companies do to create a competitive advantage through warehouse and distribution network design models. 
  3. Manufacturing Overview and Trends - Learn ways companies create competitive advantage through manufacturing principles and network design models. Discover current and future approaches companies use to integrate manufacturing as a core competency within their supply chain strategy.
  • 6/1 to 6/8 (Thurs.), 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in Prospect Heights
  • 8/2 to 8/16 (W), 1:00 pm to 5:15 pm in Palatine

Learn OSHA’s best practices for reducing accidents and injuries at the workplace. Explore major hazards encountered in general industry and solutions for recognizing, controlling, and applying protections against them. Gain an understanding on employer responsibilities, filing complaints and OSHA rights for workers. Upon successful completion of the course, students will receive an OSHA 10-hour general industry card.

  • The course schedule is to be determined.

The warehousing industry includes establishments engaged in storage, shipping and receiving of a wide variety of goods. Common sources of injury/illness in this growing, fast-paced industry include powered industrial trucks (forklifts), walking working surfaces, ergonomics, material handling, hazardous chemicals, robotics, and conveyors.



Omar Sánchez at paths@harpercollege.edu or 847.925.6782.

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: 5/15/23