Harper College – Zurich North America Insurance Apprenticeship Program

Back To WBL and Apprenticeship Projects

Creating the Ultimate “Earn and Learn” Experience

Apprenticeships have traditionally been associated with the building trades where more experienced workers helped to train entry workers. Adapting this model, TAACCCT grant recipient Harper College (Palatine, Illinois) teamed up with Zurich North America to create the first-of-its-kind U.S. apprenticeship program for insurance professionals. In addition to taking classes at Harper, students receive on-the-job training at Zurich North America’s headquarters in Schaumburg, a 15-minute drive from the school. The apprentices spend three days of the week at Zurich North America’s offices and two days of the week at Harper. Zurich has committed to hiring 100 apprentices by 2020 (1).

In December 2017, the inaugural class of 18 apprentices graduated from Harper-Zurich North America’s certified apprenticeship program. Each employee-student graduated with zero debt, a job, an associate’s degree in business administration, and a Certified Insurance Apprenticeship designation from the U.S. Department of Labor (2).

“What we found is it’s a win-win-win situation. It’s a win for our employers, it’s a win for those students, and job seekers, and career changers who are looking for their career.” (3)

—Rebecca Lake, dean of workforce and economic development at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Find and use FREE Open Educational Resources available on SkillsCommons.

Additional Project Information

Introduction video about “The Harper Apprenticeships Experience”

Additional Videos

Insuring a Career: First-of-its-Kind Apprenticeships in Insurance Industry

Interview with Dr. Rebecca Lake, dean of workforce and economic development, Harper College

  1. “Insurance apprentices graduate from Zurich,” Daily Herald, last updated December 7, 2017, http://www.dailyherald.com/business/20171207/insurance-apprentices-graduate-from-zurich.
  2. “Insurance apprentices graduate from Zurich.”
  3. Cheryl Martin and Amy Firestone, “From Design to Implementation, Flexible Apprenticeship Models That Work” (webinar, November 7, 2017), transcript available at https://taaccct.workforcegps.org/sitecore/content/global/events/2017/10/17/15/15/From-Design-to-Implementation-Flexible-Apprenticeship-Models-That-Work.