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About First Institute

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Gain the Skills Employers Want

Building the life you’ve always dreamed of starts with a stable career – and that starts with real skills. At First Institute, you’ll get hands-on training that will equip you with the experience and know-how to start your career with confidence.

Our Mission

First Institute meets the educational needs of students, employers and the community by designing quality occupational specific training programs utilizing relevant methodology practices.

Focused Training Helps You Learn by Doing

We offer Dental Assisting, Medical Assisting and Massage Therapy career programs designed to help you master the skills you need. We believe comprehensive, hands-on training is the best way to learn. Our instructors are experienced professionals who will help you develop a well-rounded understanding of your field.

Preparing Students for New Careers for 40 Years

Since our founding in 1982, First Institute has been preparing students like you for rewarding careers. Our focus is on ensuring graduates are career-ready, so you are equipped with the skills, experience and connections to pursue a new career.

And while our programs have evolved over the years to meet changes in technology and the demands of the job market, our total commitment to our students – and their success—remains unchanged.

Learn more about our History

Adapting with the Times

In the health and wellness field, things can change quickly. That’s why we have always prided ourselves on our agility. First Institute remains focused on identifying where the job market is heading and what the needs of employers will be. By recognizing a need and filling that niche with top quality vocational training, we’ve ahead of the curve.

Family First

First Institute was founded as a family business and those morals have stuck with us ever since.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ron and Judy Beier ran a travel agency and were having trouble finding qualified travel agents to help them with their business. Recognizing a need, they decided to provide training and First Institute was born.

In 1982, First Institute opened its doors in a two-story house in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The travel agency operated upstairs, while a classroom was located on the first floor. By day, the Beiers ran their travel business, and in the evening, they taught classes using the Computer Reservation System.

In 1989 First Institute and Travel First moved to its current location at 790 McHenry Avenue in Crystal Lake. This is also when First Institute received accreditation from our current accrediting commission, ACCET.

Though Ron and Judy have since retired, First Institute remains a family business, with their sons Eric and Kurt guiding us forward. Won’t you join our family too?

Schedules for Busy Adults

You can’t put your life on hold to go back to school. At First Institute, you don’t have to. Our programs are tailored for busy adults with work and family commitments. We have both day and evening class options, so you can find the best fit for your needs.

Financial Aid

Affordability shouldn’t be a limitation to achieving your dreams. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. One of our experienced financial aid advisors will guide you through the process of determining your eligibility, exploring your options and applying for assistance. We’ll be there to guide you every step of the way.

Lifetime Placement Assistance

The ultimate goal of career training is to land you in a great new career. Our Career Services Department provides all graduates with career placement assistance, for life.

From career direction advise to career search strategies, resume writing to interviewing, we’re here to help you at every step. Our staff also actively reaches out to industry employers to ensure our curriculum is up to date.

While First Institute cannot guarantee job placement, our Career Services Department maintains constant contact with prospective employers throughout Illinois to advise them of talented students’ abilities and availability.

Accreditations & Affiliations

First Institute is one of only a handful of accredited colleges in Crystal Lake. We are proud to have Approval to Operate by the Illinois Board of Higher Education and are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), which is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education. We also adhere to the rules and regulations of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

ACCET logo

Our Commitment to You

At First Institute, we are committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment, as well as clear indications that you are receiving great value for your educational investment in education. Here are resources that you will find helpful in making your decision to enroll.

  • Net Price Calculator
  • First Institute Campus Safety Report
  • First Institute in College Navigator
  • First Institute Catalog
  • Disability Services Policies & Procedures