ELGIN, Ill., Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The new Elgin campus of Computer Systems Institute (CSI) held its first commencement ceremony on October 21, celebrating the first 17 students to complete the campus' eight-month career training programs in healthcare, information technology and business administration. Two of the graduates already have jobs, five others have job interviews scheduled, and the class as a whole has passed 21 industry-specific certification exams that will help them secure jobs.
Commencement speakers at the Holiday Inn in Elgin were Misty Villareal, a medical assisting graduate, and Marianne Flinchum, who completed the school's medical billing and coding program.
Villareal, a former Elgin resident and single mother of five who formerly worked at a mall nut stand, completed her medical assisting coursework despite setbacks that included several weeks of living in her car after she was unable to pay her rent. Flinchum, a Carpentersville resident, lost her job in the economic downturn and turned to CSI's medical billing and coding program to enter a growth field expected to have continued employment demand.
"This first graduating class in Elgin represents everything that CSI stands for: personal growth, fast-track preparation for high-growth careers, and a ticket to a better life," said CSI President and CEO Ella Zibitsker. "These graduates have made a commitment to acquiring career skills that will increase their earning power and offer steady employment opportunities, and that's what CSI is all about."
With six campuses in the Chicago metropolitan area, CSI specializes in eight-month career training programs for the unemployed, underemployed and recent high school graduates seeking a career path. Unique services designed to help students succeed in the classroom as well as the job market include stipends for academic performance, no-charge retakes of failed classes, clothing swaps, resume development assistance, and free GED preparation classes for students without a high school diploma.
The school also pays for certification exams for students who successfully complete a career program. These certifications – including CompTIA, Network+, MCP and MCSA exams for network systems administration; National Healthcareer Association and American Medical Technologist exams for healthcare; and Microsoft Office Specialist and Customer Service exams for business – validate graduates' knowledge in their respective fields.
CSI's other campuses are in the Chicago Loop, Skokie, Lombard, Gurnee and Wheeling, and have served more than 10,000 graduates since the school's opening in 1989.
CSI is accredited by the North Central Association, licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education, and approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to accept the GI bill. It is also a Microsoft IT Academy and approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
About Computer Systems Institute
CSI is a postsecondary education provider that offers a variety of career programs in information technology, healthcare and business administration designed to be completed in less than one year, as well as English-as-a-Second-Language programs serving students from around the world. With six Chicago-area campuses, CSI offers career advising, job placement assistance, scholarships and other financial aid programs, and a broad range of support services to facilitate academic and career success. The institute has been serving Chicago-area residents since 1989. For more information, visit www.csinow.edu.
SOURCE Computer Systems Institute