Oakton Community College in Illinois Establishes an Academy for Black Men

Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois, has established the Emory Williams Academy for Black Men. The academy is designed to support historically underserved and underrepresented students along their academic and career pathways. Programming for the academy is especially appropriate for all underserved and underrepresented students with an intentional focus on supporting students who identify as a Black men.

The academy will except Black male students who are following academic/career pathways in engineering, computer science, law enforcement and criminal justice, accounting, business management, marketing management, cannabis education programs, or human services. Members of the academy are supported by a group of committed professors and student-success coaches — and your fellow scholars. This unique community will help students successfully enter college, navigate their way through their classes, tear down barriers along the way, form meaningful relationships, and transition to their next academic or career step. The academy builds community through special programming geared toward academy scholars, cultural enrichment opportunities, special speakers, and events.

The academy is named for Emory Williams, who served on the Oakton Community College Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2009. When he joined the board he had nearly 40 years of experience in public education. He served in many capacities from 1967 to 1994 at Evanston Township High School, including as head of the school’s vocational education programs.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education, Oakton Community College enrolls about 7,300 students. African American are 7 percent of the student body. So, roughly 250 Black men are enrolled in the college.


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  1. Denise R. Myles, Phd says:

    I am certainly glad the focus of this programming is black males. I hope your endeavor is successful because when your program is successful, black men enrolled become successful, their families and ultimately your institution and America! Good Luck!

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