Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Harper College Continuing Education is offering new courses for adults with intellectual disabilities. These classes are designed to help students develop life enriching skills, both fun and practical, that they can use in their everyday lives. Courses vary by semester but may include art, baking, cooking, exercise and magic.

For more information contact:
Linda M. Hoeck, Program Coordinator, Students with Intellectual Disabilities 
847.925.6000 ext 2076 

The Career Skills Institute provides an educational program for students with mild cognitive disabilities, age 18 and above, that assesses and strengthens basic employability skills and helps student develop a realistic career plan.

Two Year Sequence:

  • Year one includes six course modules focusing on basic academics and communication.
  • Year two includes six course modules focusing on career exploration with a guided vocational experience.

The Career Skills Institute's students benefit from the opportunity to:

  • Develop academic, vocational, and social skills.
  • Learn appropriate work behavior.
  • Develop career-related interests.
  • Receive an honest assessment of their career potentials and the continuing supports they will require in the workplace.

STEP 1: Apply to the Career Skills Institute

  • Complete the Career Skills Institute Program Application. If you have a legal guardian, provide legal documentation and contact information.
  • Complete the Career Skills Institute Student Self Evaluation.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a high school counselor, college counselor, or supervisor.
  • Provide copies of your most current psychological evaluation, IEP, or other medical documentation.
  • Send or bring the completed Program Application, Student Self Evaluation, letter of recommendation and disability documentation to:

William Rainey Harper College
Office of Continuing Education
Attn: Career Skills Institute
1200 West Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL 60067

STEP 2: Student Interview

When the application packet is received, the Career Skills Institute Coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview. The appointment will take approximately one hour.  

During the interview, you will be asked about your educational and employment history and goals as well as your medical and personal background. You can bring additional documentation to provide background information. You will also discuss your need for services, access, and accommodations.

STEP 3: Admission Decision

The Career Skills Institute advisory team will review applications. You will be notified both by phone call and in writing about your admission to Career Skills Institute. Upon admission, you will be directed to register for the program by phone, online or in person. Payment will be due at the time of registration. You will also be required to sign and return the Career Skills Institute Student Agreement to the address above.

The Schaumburg Autism Society Enrichment and Vocational Fund has offered scholarships for use toward these courses. 


  • Adults on the Autism spectrum over the age of 18 years old. Students who are not able to take regular college courses without support or modifications to the curriculum. 
  • Enrolled in enrichment classes through Continuing Education Dept. or vocational classes through the Career Foundation Department. 


The decision about the recipient(s) is made by the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid.


  • Up to five student recipients will be awarded each $80 for enrichment classes. 
  • Three student recipients will be awarded $200 for vocational classes.


Apply online. Select Foundation in the scholarship category and check the box for Schaumburg Autism Society Enrichment and Vocational Fund. Then complete the rest of the form. If you require assistance to fill out the form, contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance at 847.925.6248 or visit the Office in Building C, Room C102. 

For all classes, students need to be able to independently and safely find their way to classes on campus as transportation is not provided. Instruction and support will be in small groups. Students wishing to use public transportation to get to Harper College may want to visit the Pace website:


More about Access and Disabilities Services at Harper College