About Oakton

This is Where Your Life Changes

Education. Empowerment. Transformation. Since our founding in 1969, that's what Oakton has been about. More importantly, it's what we offer you.

We educate: Our mission has always been to provide quality and accessible learning to students of all ages in northeastern Illinois. We try out new policies, philosophies and techniques, and we bring in the best and brightest teachers, all to give you the best-in-class educational experience that you demand and deserve.

We empower: Education gives you the tools you need to meet your goals, and at Oakton, you'll get the opportunities to put those tools to good use. From innovative course offerings to internships and research projects that give you real-world experience, you'll be prepared to meet the demands of a society in motion and have the skills the jobs of tomorrow will demand.

We transform: No matter your goal—getting certified for a trade, preparing for a traditional 4-year university, getting a degree that can lead to a new career, learning a new skill, or something else you choose—we want your experience here to change your life for the better. As you travel your educational path, we will partner with you and provide the support you need to make sure you reach your destination and emerge smarter, stronger, and more confident that can take on whatever is next.

Our Values and Mission

We remain constant in our belief in the values that have defined us: exercising responsibility, embracing diversity, advancing equity, upholding integrity, cultivating compassion, and fostering collaboration between the college and the community so we can achieve more together.

Our mission and our purpose is to be there for you every step of the way and to give you the skills, knowledge, and critical thinking ability to thrive in whatever challenges you take on.

Who We Are and What We Offer

50,000 students attend every year

We count among our alumni those who have studied for years and others who have taken just one class with us and we're committed to ensuring that your time at Oakton is truly well-spent, worthwhile, and has a permanent impact on your life.

2,500 course offerings each term

We offer a wide range of educational options for you. You can focus in on taking classes that will lead to a new career, explore new topics, or try out new hobbies that could become lifelong passions. While you're here, you can feel welcomed and learn what inspires you. And if you aren't sure yet where your path will lead, we can help you explore your areas of interest and guide you to a destination that works for you. With over 80 areas of study in fields from healthcare careers to the arts, science and technology to business and beyond, Oakton will provide a foundation for your next step.

1,500 continuing education courses

You may not be interested in pursuing a full degree but are still eager to learn new skills. We offer continuing education courses in subjects as diverse as computer accounting, video production, cooking, landscape painting and more. We also offer several options for completing your high school equivalency or learning English as a Second Language.

60+ online course offerings

In addition to our centrally located campuses in Des Plaines and Skokie and hundreds of off-site locations found in high schools and other areas throughout the community, Oakton also offers an ever-expanding number of courses online. We know that you coming to classes in person may not be convenient or possible for you, and in our commitment to equity and offering access to education for every student, we are committed to delivering online classes that deliver the same top-notch education that you'd get in person.

50+ languages spoken regularly on Oakton's campuses

At Oakton, our students come from just about every ethnic group and economic background. Some have spent their entire lives in the Chicago area, while others are recent immigrants. Regardless of who you are or where you are from, you are welcome and belong at Oakton. The diversity of our students and faculty reflects the world today. We believe that the different perspectives everyone brings make Oakton a more vibrant and dynamic place.

We also understand that your needs are unique, and we are committed to making sure that you have access to the learning and opportunities to be successful and achieve your goals. Certificates, degrees, transfers: we've got you covered.

Be Part of Oakton's Community

The truth is that all of this is just a snapshot of what Oakton is truly about. To really understand, you have to experience Oakton and see how we change the lives of students like you.

So start your journey by applying today. Or contact us for more information. This is where your journey begins, where you get an education, become empowered, and transform your life.

We can't wait you meet you and welcome you to our community.

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Check Out Our Programs Learn About Life at Oakton Explore AdmissionsVisit Campus