Oakton Community College

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Oakton Community College
Type Public, Community College
Established 1969
Endowment $7.2 million[1]
President Joianne L. Smith[2]
Students 46,000 (credit and non-credit) [3]
Location Des Plaines, Skokie, IL, U.S.
Website http://www.oakton.edu

Oakton Community College is a two-year community college with campuses in Des Plaines, Illinois and Skokie, Illinois. It was established in 1969 in Morton Grove, Illinois and moved to its current locations in 1980.

Area served[edit]

Cook County Suburban Community College District 535[4] serves 450,000 residents in northeast Cook County, Illinois. The school serves Chicago's North Shore suburbs of Des Plaines, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Golf, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Northfield, Park Ridge, Rosemont, Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka. Residents of Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, and Rosemont need to contact that office of admission for exact in-district addresses. The college offers both credit and non-credit classes. Oakton Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association.

In 2014, Oakton entered into a dual enrollment agreement with Shimer College, a Great Books college in Chicago, under which Oakton students could attend Shimer classes for credit at Oakton.[5] It was the first extension of Shimer's dual enrollment system beyond the City Colleges of Chicago.


Oakton Community College opened in 1969 in former industrial buildings at Oakton and Nagle in Morton Grove. This original campus closed when the Des Plaines and Skokie campuses opened. The Skokie campus opened in 1980 at the site of the former Niles East High School, an example of art deco architecture that was used in the films Sixteen Candles and Risky Business. The Des Plaines campus also opened in 1980. Classes are held at both campuses.

Des Plaines Campus[edit]

Oakton's main campus in Des Plaines is located on 147 acres (59.5 ha) of woodlands and prairie, between Golf Road to the south and Central Road to the north, bordered on the west by the Des Plaines River. The College, a modern, red-brick building with 435,000 square feet (40,400 m2), houses 65 classrooms and 46 educational laboratories, as well as student services, administrative and faculty offices. Special facilities include 19 computer classrooms; a Performing Arts Center; the Business Institute; the Koehnline Visual Arts Center; a Child Care Center; and a teleconferencing center, gym, fitness center, library and bookstore.

Construction on a new addition to the northeast side of the campus began in April 2012, with a projected open date in time for the 2014 summer semester. Unfortunately, due to weather and issues with the concrete slab used for the ground settlement, the building was not available for use until the spring semester of 2015. The $39 million addition, which stands three stories tall and spans 93,000 square feet, is the largest structural change to the campus since its opening in 1980. The new building, which houses health and sciences classes, is part of a $68.5 million five year Facilities Master Plan which went into effect in December 2010.[6] The community college will seek for certification with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design due to its features, which are not limited to self shading windows which will provide natural lighting to 75 percent of the classrooms during the day.[7] In honor of President Margaret Burke Lee and her planned retirement in June 2015 after 30 years of service, the building has been named the Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center.

Skokie Campus[edit]

The Ray Hartstein Campus adjoins a residential area in Skokie. The state-of-the-art building was dedicated in 1995 and is set on a spacious lawn with mature trees as well as new plantings. The building provides almost 165,000 square feet (15,300 m2) of space for 31 classrooms, 12 laboratories and other educational and administrative offices. Special facilities include a teleconferencing and distance learning center; a Child Care Center; and offices for student activities, the Emeritus Program, Alliance for Lifelong Learning (ALL) and English as a Second Language (ESL)/Literacy.

Student Life[edit]

Oakton Community College is a member of NCJAA offering men's teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field. As members of NCJAA, the college also offers women's teams in basketball, cross country, gold, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Students are also able to participate a variety of intramural sports on campus as well. Student life is not limited to sports. Members of the community have the opportunity to participate in over 50 clubs on campus. The community college also has a Student Government Association, Student Judicial Board, a student newspaper known as OCCurrence, as well as other student lead programs.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 22. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ "About President Smith". Oakton Community College
  3. ^ "Oakton Community College Fast Facts". Oakton Community College
  4. ^ "Map of Suburban Community College Districts in Cook County, IL" (PDF). Cook County Clerk. 
  5. ^ "Dual Enrollment at Shimer for Oakton Community College Students". Shimer College. 2014-12-29. Retrieved 2015-01-09. 
  6. ^ "New $39 million Oakton science and health building open for classe". Daily Herald. Retrieved November 29, 2015
  7. ^ "Oakton to start construction of new science building". Daily Herald. Retrieved November 29, 2015

External links[edit]