Oakton Community College makes its official name change

Starting Jan. 17, Oakton Community College begins a new chapter in its proud history as it officially becomes Oakton College.

Along with the name change, the college will unveil a new visual identity, including a modernization of the college's iconic leaf logo and new college seal.

The prospect of transitioning to Oakton College was first discussed by Oakton's board of trustees in 2019, as the college celebrated its 50th anniversary. The board approved the transition in August 2021. A combination of institutional and societal factors, including the launch of a new strategic plan, created an ideal opportunity for Oakton to reintroduce itself to the communities it serves.

"As a college, our mission is to empower and transform students in our diverse communities by providing quality and accessible learning opportunities to all," said Oakton President Joianne L. Smith. "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 will remain an open-access community college, offering associate degrees, certificates and adult and continuing education programs, including the state of Illinois High School Diploma (formerly known as High School Equivalency Certificate) and English as a Second Language programs, along with providing a host of community resources.

Oakton's updated logo underscores the college's continued commitment to inspiration, growth, equity and community. The stylized person at the crown of the leaf reflects Oakton's focus on students and the broader community.

A slight color variation in the oak leaves adds depth and better represents the college's clear commitment to diversity.

Signs of the transition are visible on both Oakton's Des Plaines and Skokie campuses, as signage bearing the college's new identity continues to be updated.

Updates to Oakton's institutional website,, will go live Jan. 17, coinciding with the start of the spring 2023 semester. Updates to some campus signage will be deferred, honoring the college's commitment to sustainability and allowing a fiscally responsible transition.

The first graduating class of Oakton College will be honored during the spring commencement ceremony in May 2023.

Founded in 1969, the college serves 17 in-district communities from Des Plaines (west) to Evanston (east) on two campuses, Des Plaines and Skokie, as well as online. Students can choose from 130-plus associate degree and certificate programs, and 100-plus short-term (completion in one semester or less) career-focused programs, including health careers, manufacturing and information technology.

Oakton places great value on embracing diversity and advancing equity, and there are 50-plus languages spoken on Oakton's campuses.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.