Founded in 1966 and also referred to as Waubonsee or WCC, Waubonsee Community College is a public two-year community college that serves twelve public school districts located in the far western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, with campuses in Sugar Grove, Aurora, and Plano.
Waubonsee’s philosophy is based on three main principles: that education is the key to a literate, democratic society; that learning is a lifelong process; and that the pursuit of knowledge must be supported by institutional policies demonstrating accessibility, service, quality, innovation, and value. Waubonsee is rated as in the upper five percent academically among all community colleges nationwide, according to rankings by the American Association of Community Colleges. Waubonsee has a tenure system and relatively high salaries for full-time faculty, both of which tend to attract quality faculty.
The college also recently chose to reaffirm its accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of colleges and Schools through participating in the Academic Quality Improvement Project (AQIP), a process that fosters a culture of continuous review and self-assessment to further improve the institution.
Waubonsee offers more than 1000 credit courses from a wide variety of disciplines. The school is best known for its programs in science, real estate and construction management, and nursing and emergency medicine, but students can also pursue associate’s degrees in other health care and medical services, arts and humanities, business, communication and media, family and consumer science, interdisciplinary studies, security and protective services, skilled trades, social work, and technical careers. There are professional certificate programs available in many of these areas as well.
Students with a GPA of 2.75 or higher and at least 15 hours of college credit can take advantage of opportunities to study abroad in England, Austria, Costa Rica, Japan, France, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, and Australia.
Waubonsee is a founding member of the Illinois Virtual Campus (IVC) and provides more than 100 online courses to students statewide through the Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO). Waubonsee is one of only a few Illinois institutions of higher education that offer fully-accredited associate’s degrees in a distance learning format. The school also has the distinction of being named the host institution responsible for the development and operation of the ILCCO Learning Academy, which provides training and support for online educators.
Most Popular Fields of Study
In accordance with its open-admission policy as a community college, Waubonsee accepts all qualified applicants. To qualify, prospective students must be high school graduates or the equivalent (GED) or over 18 years old. Non-graduates who are 16 or 17 years old and have severed their connections with the high school system, as well as current high school students who meet certain established criteria, may also be eligible to apply.
It should be noted that Waubonsee complies with the Illinois Public Community College Act, which gives preference to in-district applicants over out-of-district applicants. Furthermore, acceptance to the college does not guarantee acceptance to particular programs of study, which may require students to first satisfactorily complete a specified number of general education courses before being admitted.
Although as a public community college, Waubonsee is less expensive than many other institutions, tuition can be a strain on students’ budgets. Grants, scholarships, loans, and employment opportunities are available to help defray costs. About 35% of Waubonsee students receive some sort of financial aid, mostly from federal grants and student loans.
Waubonsee has a fairly diverse student body that is about 60% Caucasion, 30% Hispanic, 6% African American, 2% Asian, and 1% other minorities. There is also a wide age range among Waubonsee students, about 25% of whom are 18-19 years old. Another 30% are in their early twenties, and about 20% are in their late twenties. Students in their thirties make up about 15% of the entire student population, and another 15% or so are more than 40 years old. There is also a small number of current high school students are also enrolled in classes at Waubonsee.
Over 50% of Waubonsee students are full-time.
The school does not offer on-campus housing or a meal plan, meaning all students must live off-campus and commute.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Waubonsee Community College is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). As such, Waubonsee sports teams, nicknamed the Chiefs, belong to the Skyway Conference and compete in Region IV tournaments each season to be the area’s representative in national finals. The Chiefs consistently win several Skyway titles in a year and frequently contend for the Skyway Conference’s All-Sports Trophy. The WCC Men’s Basketball team is one of the top junior college basketball teams in the country.
More than 165 students participate in Waubonsee’s 13 sports. And an overwhelming majority of Waubonsee athletes go on to transfer to four-year institutions to complete their studies.