A public community college in Palatine, Illinois, William Rainey Harper College is named after William Rainey Harper, a former governor of Illinois. It was founded by vote in 1965 and opened its doors to the public in September of that year. In honour of William Rainey Harper, a pioneer in the junior college movement in the United States as well as the first president of the University of Chicago, the institution bears his name.
Approximately 50 transfer options are available at Harper Institution, enabling students to acquire an associate degree before transferring to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor's degree requirements. More than 40 career programmes are available at the institution, each of which leads to an associate degree or certificate while simultaneously providing the required skills to join the profession. The duration of these programmes ranges from sixteen weeks to two years in length.
The Higher Learning Commission has recognised all courses, educational programmes, counselling services, and remote learning programmes offered by the university. Also on campus is a nationally ranked Speech and Debate team, which has won several awards. On seven separate times over the previous 16 years, they have taken home the Illinois Intercollegiate Speech and Debate Tournament championship.
Harper University offers 15 Study Abroad programmes in Central America, Europe, and Asia, with locations across the globe. Only a few programmes are managed directly by the College; on the other hand, the majority of them are offered in collaboration with the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs (ICIPS).