Information Systems and Networking

The A+ Computer Repair, Cisco Networking and Cybersecurity courses are designed to prepare students for entry into the Information Technology (IT) Industry.  Students will have the opportunity to work with computers, ipads , smartphones, networking equipment and servers to expand their experiences.

Dual credit is now being offered through Harper Community College in Palatine. Students who apply will be given the opportunity to receive both District 214 credit AND Harper College credit for the completion of the A+ Computer Repair and Networking courses. Students who apply can receive a Harper College transcript, which can be applied to most four-year colleges. 

Students will also have the opportunity to take the CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ certification exams at the end of the courses.  These exams are not required but give students a leg up on their peers as they prepare to compete for technology related jobs.

These district courses offered at JHHS, WHS and RMHS and are open to all students in District 214. The course content is regulated by industry standards.  

Here is a short video that showcases District 214 students and the importance of certifications -

Hersey students earn 1st Place in state in Cyber Patriot Competition -


Click the links below to skip to specific sections or websites.

A+ Computer Repair Course Description 

Networking Course Descriptions

Advanced Networking and CyberSecurity Descriptions 

Why get Certified? 

CompTIA A+ Certification 

CompTIA Net+ Certification 

CompTIA Security+ Certification 

What is CompTIA A+® Certification?

Harper College Program Information 

Computer Donations

Contact Information


A+ Computer Repair (Course #00674) - Course Description 

A+ Computer Repair is a technology class that prepares students to work with today's technology. Students will focus on computer hardware and software, exploring currently used technologies. Students who expect to move into Technology related fields, as well as those who just want to know how computers work will benefit from this course.

Students are not required, but encouraged, to take the certification exam as part of the course. Students will concentrate on building, maintaining and repairing computer hardware. Students will learn to install, use and troubleshoot Windows 7, 8 and Windows 10 as well as be introduced to a Linux OS.  Apple iOS and Andriod OS are reviewed.


Costs involved in getting certified

The two exams needed to get certified currently cost $96 each. If you are not in our program the cost would be $225 for each exam. As an added incentive, District 214 will pay for a student’s first attempt at the certification exam. So you can get certified as a A+ Computer Repair Technician for FREE!!  The advantage of having these certifications before leaving HS gives students the opportunity to interview for positions they normally would never have access to.

Students receive credit for Harper Courses NET 111 (A+ Hardware) and NET 112 (A+ Operating Systems Technologies). For more information about Harper College's Computer Degrees please see information below. 

Networking - Course Descriptions

Cisco Networking Basics (Course # 00675) 

Provides students with a comprehensive introduction to local area networks. Includes the OSI model, media, topologies, protocols, network maintenance, upgrades, troubleshooting and current network operating systems. Students will work with the Cisco Introduction to Networking Curriculum, which is an online curriculum, which includes labs and simulations using their Packet Tracer software.

Cisco Router and Routing Basics (Course # 00676)

Provides students with a detailed examination of Internet addressing and protocols. Includes IP addressing, routing, IP, ICMP, ARP, TCP, UDP, DHCP, DNS, HTTP, FTP, and SMTP. Uses protocol analyzer to monitor and examine network traffic. Students will use part of the Cisco Routing and Switching Essentials curriculum.

CISCO Introduction to Networking and Cisco Router and Routing Essentials are the first two semesters of a 4-semester sequence designed to provide students with classroom and laboratory experiences in current and emerging networking technology. The focus will be to empower students for immediate career and/or further study and training in the computer networking technology. Topics willl include networking, terminology, protocols, cabling, network standards, setting up LAN, WAN, Ethernet basics, network administrator duties etc.


Students participating in the Cisco and Advanced Networking course will participate in a new competition called Cyber Patriot.  This challenges students to find security flaws in three virtual images (Windows 7,8 or 10 AND a Linux OS (Ubuntu or Debian  AND Windows 2008 Server) along with a Cisco Packet Tracer environment which challenges students networking skills.


Students completing the two Cisco courses will have the opportunity to take the CompTIA Network+ exam.  The District will provide the student with one opportunity to take the certification exam.  The exam is a vendor neutral exam that covers the following domains: Network Architecture, Network Operations, Network Security, Troubleshooting, and Industry Standards, Practices and Network Theory


Advanced Networking and Security (Course #10401 and #10402)

Building on principles learned in previous classes this class will provide students with comprehensive hand-on overview of network security, including authentication, encryption, digital certificates, perimeter topologies, remote access, cryptography, and operational security.  Students will participate to solve industry real world problems and challenges related to networks and cybersecurity.

Students completing course will have the opportunity to take the CompTIA Security+ exam.  The District will provide the student with one opportunity to take the certification exam. CompTIA Security+ certification covers network security, compliance and operation security, threats and vulnerabilities as well as application, data and host security. Also included are access control, identity management, and cryptography.

Cisco Networking Academy

The Cisco Networking Academy Program is a comprehensive e-learning program that provides students with the Internet technology skills essential in a global economy. The Networking Academy delivers web-based content, online assessment, student performance tracking, hands-on labs, instructor training and support, and preparation for industry standard certifications. For more information about the academy click here.

What is CompTIA A+® Certification?

CompTIA A+ certification is an international industry credential that validates the knowledge of computer service technicians. 

  • A+ is comprehensive and vendor-neutral - A+ certified professionals have mastered the technologies found in today’s extensive and varied IT environments, from mobile to traditional devices and operating systems. They can confidently handle the most challenging technology problems more efficiently
  • A+ validates foundational skills - A+ establishes best practices in troubleshooting, networking and security across a variety of devices to set the stage for IT careers. The certification also matches professional tech skills with communication skills.
  • A+ is trusted by employers - As businesses and governments worldwide continue to adopt mobile and cloud technology, they trust A+ certified professionals to keep their devices running and organizations working smoothly.
  • A+ is globally recognized and accredited - CompTIA A+ is compliant with ISO 17024 standards and is approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements.
  • A+ is industry supported - A+ is developed and maintained by leading IT experts. Content for the exams stems from a combination of industry-wide survey feedback and contributions from our team of subject matter experts.

CompTIA A+ certification validates the latest skills needed by today’s computer support professionals. CompTIA A+ confirms a technicians ability to perform tasks such as installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance and basic networking. The exams also cover domains such as security, safety and environmental issues and communication and professionalism.

A+ Test Format

Students must pass both the 901 and 902 exams in order to become certified. The 901 focuses on trouble shooting computer hardware, networking, printers and mobile devices.  The 902 exam’s focus is on operating systems, security and troubleshooting. The exam consists of 80 questions, and 2-5 hands-on simulations.  The student has 90 minutes to complete the exam. Students need to score 675 or higher on the 901 exam and 700 or better of the 902 exam. For more information about the exams, Click Here!


Computer Donations 

We do accept computer donations. Most systems that can be taken apart or used for parts are accepted. Systems that are 2.5 Ghz or faster are accepted. Anything older is too outdated for the class. CRT monitors are not accepted as they take up too much space and now cost us to recycle. For more information please contact the instructor for your school. 

Contact Information

Tom Polak, Instructor at JHHS, BGHS, PHS and WHS  |  (847) 718-4834


Mike Drenth, Instructor at RMHS and EGHS  |  (847) 718-5647