Waubonsee Community College

Last updated
Waubonsee Community College
Waubonsee Community College.png
Type Public
President Dr. Christine J. Sobek
Location, ,
Website http://www.waubonsee.edu

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

Community college type of educational institution

A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries: many community colleges have an “open enrollment” for students who have graduated from high school. The term usually refers to a higher educational institution that provides workforce education and college transfer academic programs. Some institutions maintain athletic teams and dormitories similar to their university counterparts.

Sugar Grove, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Sugar Grove is a village in Kane County, Illinois, United States and a far west suburb of Chicago. The population at the 2010 census was 8,997, and in 2017 the estimated population was 9,830.

Aurora, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Aurora, a suburb of Chicago, is a city in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Will counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. Located primarily in DuPage and Kane counties, it is an outer suburb of Chicago and the second most populous city in the state, and the 115th most populous city in the country. The population was 197,899 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to have increased to 200,965 by 2017.


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. [ citation needed ]

Batavia, Illinois City in Illinois, United States

Batavia is a city in DuPage and Kane Counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. A suburb of Chicago, it was founded in 1833 and is the oldest city in Kane County. During the latter part of the 19th century, Batavia, home to six American-style windmill manufacturing companies, became known as "The Windmill City." Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a federal government-sponsored high-energy physics laboratory, where both the bottom quark and the top quark were first detected, is located in the city.

Big Rock, Illinois Village in Illinois, United States

Big Rock is a village in Kane County, Illinois, United States. It is located approximately 50 miles (80 km) due west of Chicago. It is between the villages of Hinckley and Sugar Grove.

Bristol, Illinois Unincorporated community in Illinois, United States

Bristol, Illinois, is an unincorporated community in Bristol Township, Kendall County in the U.S. state of Illinois, just south of the Kane County border. Oswego lies to its east, Montgomery lies to its north, and Yorkville lies to its south and west.

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. [ citation needed ]

Higher education is tertiary education leading to award of an academic degree. Higher education, also called post-secondary education, third-level or tertiary education, is an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education. It represents levels 6, 7 and 8 of the 2011 version of the International Standard Classification of Education structure. Tertiary education at non-degree level is sometimes referred to as further education or continuing education as distinct from higher education.

Kane County, Illinois County in the United States

Kane County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 515,269, making it the fifth-most populous county in Illinois. Its county seat is Geneva, and its largest city is Aurora.

Kendall County, Illinois County in the United States

Kendall County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois, within the Chicago metropolitan area. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 114,736. Its county seat is Yorkville, and its most populous municipality is Oswego.


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]

Fox Valley (Illinois)

The Fox Valley—also commonly known as the Fox River Valley—is a region centered on the Fox River of Northern Illinois, along the western edges of the Chicago metropolitan area. The region extends from the village of Antioch in far northern Illinois, to the city of Ottawa in the south. It includes rural areas, suburban development, and 19th-century downtowns. Around 1 million people live in this area.

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]

Illinois Route 47 is a largely rural north–south state highway that runs from the Wisconsin state border at Highway 120 near Hebron, to Illinois Route 10, just south of Interstate 72 near Seymour. This is a distance of 169.76 miles (273.20 km). Route 47 is in primarily rural areas but in several suburbs of Chicago, such as Woodstock, traffic can be heavily congested.

Kiln oven that generates high temperatures

A kiln is a thermally insulated chamber, a type of oven, that produces temperatures sufficient to complete some process, such as hardening, drying, or chemical changes. Kilns have been used for millennia to turn objects made from clay into pottery, tiles and bricks. Various industries use rotary kilns for pyroprocessing—to calcinate ores, to calcinate limestone to lime for cement, and to transform many other materials.

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[ citation needed ], 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)[ citation needed ] 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 degrees to students in a distance learning format.


The nickname for the athletic department is the Chiefs.

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

Coordinates: 41°47′49″N88°27′30″W / 41.79694°N 88.45833°W / 41.79694; -88.45833