Free Online Computer Skills Training and Certificates

Kramden Institute now offers online, instructor-guided Northstar training and certificate testing. We are an approved Northstar center.

These free classes are designed to help you learn computer skills or refresh your existing skills.

All classes and testing are done online with Zoom. You will need a computer with Internet access. A webcam is required for certificate testing. A Windows 10 computer is very helpful but not required.

Questions? Contact us at or call 919-293-1133.

Northstar is perfect for you if:

  • You have completed one of our Computer Basics courses
  • You need a refresher on your existing computer skills
  • You need resume-ready certifications of your skills

Assessments to Earn Certificates

Assessment testing sessions are held each week on Thursdays and take up to 60 minutes. Assessments are optional but recommended as it lets you earn an official Northstar certificate by passing the proctored online test. These certificates attest to your skills and can enhance your resume, LinkedIn profile, and more.

Northstar Digital Literacy training covers essential computer and Internet skills, essential software skills, and using technology to accomplish tasks. Northstar is especially helpful for job seekers who may lack the digital literacy skills needed to seek, obtain, and retain employment, as well as to perform other tasks in daily life.

Northstar Certificates provide an important credential for employment, as even entry-level jobs increasingly require basic computer skills. Certificates also certify ability to complete computer skills needed in higher education, and demonstrate ability to use social media and online information thoughtfully. If individuals do not pass, personalized assessment results provide a roadmap to relevant instruction, allowing them to retake the assessment once they have mastered the necessary skills.

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We hold several class tracks each year. Each track is 11 weeks to cover 12 Northstar modules. Classes are 90 minutes long except for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which are 2 hours.

You do not have to attend every week during your chosen track. However, it is recommended if you want to earn all certificates.

Other Northstar modules, Mac OS and Supporting K-12 Distance Learning, will be scheduled separately. Check Kramden’s email updates for dates.

Classes: Each Monday and Tuesday from 6:00 to 7:30 pm
Assessments: Each Thursday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Apr. 5 & 6 – Basic Computer Skills
Apr. 12 & 13 – Internet
Apr. 19 & 20 – Email
Apr. 26 & 27 – Windows 10
May 3 & 4 – Microsoft Word 2016 * 2 hour class
May 10 & 11 – Microsoft Excel 2016 * 2 hour class
May 17 & 18 – Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 * 2 hour class
May 24 – Social Media
May 25 – Your Digital Footprint
No class May 31 or June 1 (Memorial Day)
June 7 & 8 – Information Literacy
June 14 & 15 – Career Search Skills
June 21 & 22 – Google Docs

Last assessment date: June 24

Kramden offers proctored assessment tests even if you do not take our classes. Choose this option only if you are already confident in your skills and can study on your own time.

Testing is available each Thursday from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, from April 8 through June 24. We will contact you by email or phone to set exact dates you want to attend.