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Waubonsee Community College

Waubonsee Community College
Established 1966
Type Public
President Dr. Christine J. Sobek
Students 30,070
Location Sugar Grove, Illinois, United States

Waubonsee Community College is a two-year community college, founded in 1966, located in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Its four campuses are located in Sugar Grove, Aurora, and Plano.

Waubonsee Community College serves twelve public school districts in Aurora, Batavia, Big Rock, Bristol, Elburn, Geneva, Hinckley, Kaneville, Leland, Maple Park, North Aurora, Plano, Sandwich, Somonauk, Oswego, Sugar Grove, and Yorkville.

Waubonsee Community College, a public institution of higher education, came into existence in July, 1966 when the electorate of twelve school districts in most of Kane and portions of Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle and Will counties voted to establish Community College District 516. The area encompasses approximately 600 square miles (1,600 km2) and has an assessed valuation of more than $5.0 billion.


  • History 1
  • Today 2
  • Notes 3
  • External links 4


The college's history begins in August 1966, when voters in 12 school districts in most of Kane and portions of Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle and Will counties voted to establish Community College District 516. The college's name was chosen as the result of a March 1967 district-wide contest. Some 600 entries were submitted, and the winning name, submitted by Susan Miller of Aurora and Patricia Ann Dillon of Batavia, was Waubonsee, which means "early dawn" or "early day" and according to the college was a 19th-century chief of the Pottawatomie in the Fox River Valley.[1]

The first president was appointed in early 1967. Staff were hired and a curriculum was set. The college's first classes began on September 11, 1967, and while plans for a permanent campus were made, classes were temporarily held at "a variety of community facilities." The school's initial enrollment was 1,603 - 403 full-time and 1,200 part-time.[2]

In December 1967, voters in the community college district approved a bond referendum to fund construction of a permanent campus. The Sugar Grove campus - the first and still today the main campus of the college, is 243 acres in size and is located north of Sugar Grove on Route 47. According to the college, today facilities at the campus include, in addition to classroom space, "conference rooms, specialized laboratories, Student Center, café and coffee bar, library, bookstore, child care center, observatory, kiln shelter, 375-seat auditorium, multipurpose event space, gymnasium, 120-workstation computer center, fitness center and two-mile (3 km) nature trail."[3]

In 1986, Waubonsee opened a second campus in downtown Aurora. At the corner of Galena Boulevard and Stolp Avenue, the three-story facility includes thirty-three classrooms, teleconferencing facilities, computer laboratories, conference center, student lounge, childcare center, bookstore and access to library facilities. The Aurora campus also houses the college's Business Services and Continuing and Professional Education departments, as well as the Small Business Development Center.

Waubonsee established another major extension center in January 1997 on the Rush-Copley Medical Center campus, adjacent to Route 34 in far east Aurora. The two-story Copley Campus features eight classrooms, computer lab and student lounge, and provides student services such as registration, counseling, advising, assessment, and access to library resources. College credit courses, community education programs and training for business and industry are held there.

In recent years, due to the expansion of the area in the western edge of the district, as well as to cope with the influx of people enrolling, the college decided to move its Aurora Campus from its location on Stolp Island to a larger location on the west bank of the Fox River. The campus opened in 2011, has improved parking, more classroom space, and a riverfront view of the island and the other shore. Also, another satellite campus opened in Plano, IL, in 2011. The satellite campus was created in association with Lakewood Homes and the City of Plano, to serve the communities of Plano, Sandwich, Yorkville, Little Rock, Millbrook, Millington, and Newark.


Waubonsee registered its 200,000th student in 2002, the year of its 35th anniversary.

The college also uses facilities in many communities as extension site locations. At these nearly forty sites, Waubonsee provides college credit courses, seminars for business and industry, workshops for personal enrichment, and programs for youth.

Delivery of instruction across the district has also expanded through distance learning and the college's video conferencing system. This system links Waubonsee's three academic sites, two area high schools and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy via a two-way interactive microwave network. Using fiber optics, the network also includes Judson University, Kishwaukee College, and McHenry County College, thus enhancing the academic programs offered by Waubonsee and the Fox Valley Educational Alliance (FVEA).

Waubonsee is a founding member of the Illinois Virtual Campus (IVC) and also provides courses to students statewide through Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO). Waubonsee has the distinction of being an ILCCO grant recipient naming Waubonsee as the host institution and college responsible for the development and operation of the ILCCO Learning Academy. The Learning Academy provides training and support for Illinois community college educators in the development, design and delivery of online courses. Waubonsee offers more than 100 online courses and is one of a handful of higher education institutions in Illinois to offer fully accredited associate degrees to students in a distance learning format.

As Waubonsee grows, its primary focus will continue to be quality teaching and learning. The college recently chose to reaffirm its accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools through participation in the Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP). The AQIP reaccreditation process fosters a culture of continuous review and self-assessment, focusing on action projects that, once completed, will improve the institution. One such action project is Waubonsee's new Learning First! initiative, which is a journey to create a more learning-centered college. The WCC Men's Basketball team is one of the most prominent in the country. They are regularly ranked as one of the top 25 junior college basketball teams in the nation. Their best ranking coming in 2003-2004. They are currently coached by veteran Dave Heiss.


  1. ^ History, Waubonsee Community College.
  2. ^ History, Waubonsee Community College.
  3. ^ History, Waubonsee Community College.

External links

  • Waubonsee Community College Web site
  • Waubonsee Community College History
  • Waubonsee Community College - Todd Library
  • Waubonsee Insight Student Newspaper
  • Waubonsee Campus Police

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