Oakton Community College is a two-year community college with campuses in Des Plaines, Illinois and Skokie, Illinois. District 535 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, Illinois. It also serves a smaller portion of Mount Prospect. 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.
Oakton Community College opened in 1969 in former industrial buildings at Oakton and Nagle in Morton Grove, which was 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.
Oakton's main campus in Des Plaines is located on 147 acres (59.5 ha) of woodlands and prairie, 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.
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.
Dr. Margaret B. Lee is the President of Oakton Community College. Dr. Lee stated in the April 22, 2007, New York Times article "For Achievers, a New Destination," "You don't prepare someone in this time of rapid change for a single job. You prepare them for a working life. The old academic skills are the new vocational skills."
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