William Rainey Harper College

Palatine, IL
William Rainey Harper College www.harpercollege.edu

Brief Description

As a comprehensive two-year community college, William Rainey Harper College is situated on a 200-acre suburban campus in the town of Palatine approximately 25 miles northwest of downtown Chicago in Illinois. Serving the educational needs of more than 26,500 students enrolled in credit courses, Harper College also offers courses within Community College District 512 at the Northeast Center (NEC) in Prospect Heights, Harper Professional Center (HPC) in Schaumburg, and the Illinois workNet Center in Arlington Heights. In an informal layout, the campus includes nine lecture halls, 35 state-of-the-art laboratories, a working dental clinic, and multi-level plazas with energy-saving elements.

Named for Dr. William Rainey Harper who was a pioneer in the junior college movement of the United States and the first president of the University of Chicago, Harper College was first established by referendum in 1965 and opened its doors in 1967. As classes for 1,725 students begun in temporary facilities, the college broke ground for the first six campus buildings. By 1973, the William Rainey Harper Educational Foundation was incorporated to enrich the college with scholarships and special project initiatives. In 1997, Harper College was officially approved by the North Central Association (NCA) to award accredited two-year associates degrees.

Ranging in length from sixteen weeks to two years, Harper grants associate degrees and certificates in more than 40 career-oriented programs, including architecture, business, health sciences, hospitality, and information technology. While Harper College offers more than 50 transfer options for students pursuing a four-year university degree, the school is currently seeking permission to offer two bachelor degree programs in public safety administration or homeland security and technology management. At this time, William Rainey Harper College also provides 15 study abroad programs spread across Central America, Europe, and Asia.

With more than 25 student clubs to choose from, over 1,400 Harper students participate in an organization each year to enhance their resume with leadership qualities and make new friends. Harper College is home to an award-winning Speech and Debate Team that has won the Illinois Intercollegiate Speech and Debate tournament seven teams in the last 16 years. As a member of the NJCAA Division III, the Harper Hawks have varsity teams in football, basketball, volleyball, track and field, cross country, and wrestling. Some of the famous former Hawks include cinematographer Mauro Fiore, author E.E. Knight, and Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin.

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At A Glance

Total undergraduate enrollment: 15021

Total institution enrollment: 15021

School type: 2-year public

School classification: Associate's Colleges: These institutions offer associate's degree and certificate programs but, with few exceptions, award no baccalaureate degrees.

Campus Location

Main Address

William Rainey Harper College
1200 W Algonquin Rd
Palatine, IL 60067


(847) 925-6000



Undergraduate Demographics

Male undergraduate population: 43%

Female undergraduate population: 57%

Undergrad visible minorities: No Data

Majors & Degrees

Degrees Offered: Less than one year, One but less than two years, Associate's

Accounting Technician
Architectural Drafting
Baker / Pastry Chef
Banking And Financial Support Services
Biological And Physical Sciences
Business Administration And Management
Business Computer Facilities Operator
Business Computer Programming / Programm
Business Management And Administrative
Business Systems Networking And Telecomm
Cardiovascular Technology / Technician
Child Care Provider / Assistant
Computer Installer And Repairer
Computer Maintenance Technology / Technician
Construction / Building Inspector
Dental Hygienist
Dietician Assistant
Education General
Electrical / Electronics Equipment Installer
Electrical Electronic / Communications Engineer
Electromechanical Instrumentation / Maintenance
Enterprise Management And Operations
Executive Assistant / Secretary
Fashion And Fabric Consultant
Fashion Merchandising
Fire Protection And Safety Technology / Technician
Food And Beverage / Restaurant Operations
General Distribution Operations
General Office / Clerical And Typing Services
General Retailing / Wholesaling Operations
General Retailing Operations
General Selling Skills And Sales Operations
Heating And Refrigeration
Home Furnishings / Equipment Installers
Horticulture Services Operations And Management
Hotel / Motel And Restaurant Management
Human Resources Management
Industrial Electronics Installer And Repair
Industrial Manufacturing Technology / Technician
Insurance Marketing Operations
Landscaping Operations And Management
Law Enforcement / Police Science
Legal Administrative Assistant / Secretary
Liberal Arts And Sciences / Liberal Studies
Machine Shop Assistant
Mechanical Drafting
Mechanical Engineering / Mechanical Technician
Medical Administrative Assistant / Secretary
Medical Assistant
Medical Transcription
Nurse Assistant / Aide
Nursing Rn Training
Ornamental Horticulture Operations And Management
Paralegal / Legal Assistant
Pharmacy Technician / Assistant
Practical Nurse L P N Training
Quality Control Technology / Technician
Real Estate
Sign Language Interpreter