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 they let 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.

Even if you don’t need a certificate, the assessments (on Thursdays or on your own time) let you check your progress and skills.

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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Course Schedules

We hold courses several times a year. The five-week Northstar Basics course teaches fundamental skills. The three-week Northstar Office course covers Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

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

Northstar Basics – October/November (Evenings)

Five weeks of fundamental skills.
Class on Mondays & Tuesdays, October 23 – November 28, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Assessments on Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

No Class November 20 & 21


Week 1: Basic Computer Skills
Week 2: Internet
Week 3: Email
Week 4: Windows 10
Week 5: Google Docs

Come to all classes and assessments or choose specific weeks you’re interested in.

Northstar Office – December (Evenings)

Three weeks of Microsoft Office, covering Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.
Class on Mondays & Tuesdays, December 4 – 19, 6:00 – 8:00 pm (two-hour classes).
Assessments on Thursdays, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Topics by week:

Week 1 – Microsoft Word
Week 2 – Microsoft Excel
Week 3 – Microsoft PowerPoint