Oakton Community College's name change becomes official this month

Oakton Community College's long-awaited name change finally is happening this month.

The publicly funded school, which has a main campus in Des Plaines and a satellite location in Skokie, will be Oakton College starting Jan. 17, the same day spring semester starts.

Some signs and banners on both campuses already bear the new name, while others will be changed later to spread out the cost, officials said in a news release. The website will reflect the new name starting Jan. 17.

The college's board voted in August 2021 to change the school's public name. The college's leaf-shaped logo and its seal are being updated, too.

The school's legal name - Oakton Community College District 535 - and charter won't change.

Officials began talking about changing Oakton's name in 2019. The conversation coincided with celebrations of the school's 50th anniversary that year.

"As we evaluated who we are as an institution and who we want to be in the future, we determined this evolution more fully encompasses the life-changing impact of an Oakton education," Oakton President Joianne L. Smith said in the news release.

Students graduating this May will be considered the first graduating class of Oakton College, officials said.

With about 6,000 students in credit-earning programs, Oakton offers two-year associate degrees and certificates in dozens of subjects, as well as adult and continuing education programs.

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