Chief of Staff & VP of Workforce
1200 W. Algonquin Road
Palatine, IL 60010
Dr. Maria Coons is the Chief of Staff and Vice President of Workforce, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at Harper College. In this capacity, Maria leads workforce and economic development initiatives, as well as adult learning strategies. This includes developing and delivering programming with strategic partners in high growth areas, supporting small business development, growing apprenticeship programs, working with the unemployed, and credentialing adult learners. Maria also leads Harper’s research, strategic planning and institutional effectiveness efforts. She has successfully procured over $23 million in workforce grants for the College.
During her 29-year tenure at Harper, Maria has served as a full-time faculty member and department chair where she taught a full complement of management, marketing and finance courses, developed curricula, and managed adjunct faculty. She also developed and managed the Fast Track program which provides cohort-based learning opportunities for adults.
Before pursuing a career in education, Maria was Assistant Vice President of Check Operations at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She holds a doctorate in Higher Education from National Louis University, a master’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola University’s Quinlan School of Business, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Maria is an active Rotarian. She has been member of the Barrington Breakfast Rotary for six years, and serves on its Board.