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Some questions that are frequently asked of advisors and counselors at Oakton.
General Advising FAQ's          Transferring FAQ's

General Advising

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When should I apply to Oakton?
Now. Don't wait. If you know you would like to attend Oakton, apply now and start the process.

How much does Oakton cost?
Tuition is figured by the credit hour. See Tuition for current in-district and out-of-district rates. In figuring costs, also consider student and lab fees, textbooks, and other materials.

Am I eligible for financial aid? When and how do I apply?
For more information, contact the Financial Aid Office.

How do I register?
New traditional age students will receive a letter from the Admissions office indicating the date and time they are to attend an Orientation and Registration event. These events provide the information and assistance needed to register for your first semester at OCC. Each semester after that, you should meet with an advisor to plan your schedule and make sure you are on the right track. Call or stop by the Advising and Counseling Center to schedule an appointment.

I am a senior in high school and want to take a course here. Can I do that?
Yes. Oakton offers a Concurrent High School Enrollment option. Contact the Admissions Office for an application and to find out more details.

Can I get credit for high school courses?
Yes. Check with The Advising and Counseling Center or the Registration and Records Office about NSERVE and advanced placement courses.

What is a credit hour?
A credit hour, sometimes called a semester hour, refers to the number of credits you receive towards graduation for each class you successfully complete. Credit hours are determined by the number of hours per week you are in class for that course. For example, a class meeting from 9:00 - 9:50 AM three days a week will generally earn three credit hours.

What is the difference between a full-time and part-time course load?
Oakton defines a full-time load as 12 or more credit hours. A part-time load is anything less than 12 credit hours.

What is the difference between an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science degrees?
Although both types of degrees (AA/AS and AAS) require a minimum of 60 credit hours, they are different in purpose. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree prepares students for entering a career field, while the Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) degrees satisfy the requirements of the first two years of a baccalaureate degree. Therefore, AA and AS degrees require a greater number of general education courses.

What is a Certificate?
A certificate consists of career courses in a chosen program. Students who already have a degree frequently pursue a certificate when changing fields.

What courses will meet the requirements for a degree or a certificate?
All requirements for degrees and certificates are listed in the Catalog by program. It is essential that you familiarize yourself with the Catalog, since this is an agreement between you and the college. If you have not skipped more than one semester in your enrollment since you started at Oakton, you can follow the requirements listed in the Catalog for the year you began at Oakton or for the current year. If you meet all the requirements listed for a degree or certificate, you will be awarded that degree or certificate.

If I want a degree or certificate that Oakton does not offer, what should I do?
Through a joint agreement or chargeback, Oakton district residents may attend another community college that offers a curriculum not available at Oakton and still pay the in-district tuition rate. For more information, check the Catalog.

How do I get a chargeback?
To arrange a chargeback, contact the Office of Registration and Records.

Does Oakton offer courses over the Internet?
Yes, several courses are offered online and many additional courses incorporate Internet resources. See Oakton Online for more information on distance learning opportunities.

Do I have to take all the required courses in one semester?
No. That would be impossible. You space your courses out according to your needs.

How many courses should I take?
This question can really only be answered for each individual case. In general, students who work full time may find it better to take fewer classes than students who do not work or work part time. You need to be the judge of how to balance your work load with your academic load, social life, and other responsibilities.

How much time will I be expected to study for each course?
Again, this will vary between individuals. Learning Center personnel suggest students plan to spend two-three hours outside of class for each hour in class per week. Therefore, a full-time student should allow 24 - 36 hours of study time per week.

How do I know what English and math courses I should take?
All students who plan on taking credit courses at Oakton must take the College's assessment tests. You can however, under certain conditions, have the Mandatory Assessment requirement waived. A couple examples are: you have completed English 101 with a grade of  'C' or better at another institution; or you have successfully completed 24 hours of college work with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Receiving a waiver for the Mandatory Assessment Requirement does not waive you from fulfilling the math and English requirement of Oakton degrees.

Do I have to take developmental classes, especially since they do not count toward a degree?
To address any deficiencies you might have and to prepare for higher level college courses, you should take any developmental courses that are recommended. In most cases, students will not be allowed to take a higher level course in English or math if they do not complete the pre-requisite developmental course. Although these courses may not count towards graduation, they prepare students for success in college-level course work, which is very important.

If I test into English 072/075 can I take other courses?
Speak with an advisor to determine which courses, if any, you are able to take in addition to English as a Second Language or contact the Coordinator for Non-native Students.

I have taken classes at another college or university. Will they count at Oakton?
To find out what your previous college courses equal here at Oakton, you must have your transcript evaluated. The evaluation process consists of two steps:
1) having an official transcript mailed to Oakton from your former college or university (contact the Registrar's Office directly to start the process); and
2) completing a Request for Evaluation Form with Oakton's Office of Registration and Records.

How much does an Oakton transcript evaluation cost?
Oakton has no fee for evaluating a transcript.

I have a degree from a college or university in another country. How will it transfer?
To receive credit for coursework from another country, the foreign transcripts must be evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A form with instructions is available in the Office of Registration and Records. Refer to the ECE form for appropriate foreign transcript evaluation fees. Remember to complete a Request for Evaluation Form listing ECE as the transfer institution.

How long does it take for a transcript evaluation?
It takes approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks for your transcript to be evaluated. Once it is reviewed, you will receive notification in the mail. Schedule an appointment to see an advisor after you receive the evaluation to discuss how the courses align with your Oakton degree requirements.

How do I calculate my GPA?
Divide the grade points earned by the number of hours taken. Grade points are figured by multiplying the number of credit hours of each course by the grade earned, where grades from A to F are worth from 4 to 0 points.

How do I raise my GPA?
Obviously the answer to this is to obtain higher grades in your courses. You may also re-take courses in which you have received a low grade. If you re-take a course at Oakton, the higher grade will count in your GPA, but both grades will continue to show on your transcript. In other words, replacing a D or F grade with an A, B, or C will raise your GPA more quickly than taking new courses and averaging the grades.

Another way to achieve academic success is to plan your course load carefully to enable you to be more successful and to ask for tutoring assistance and study skills strategies through the Learning Center.

Can I eliminate F grades on my transcript?
Students may petition, one time only, for the Forgiveness Policy explained in detail in the Oakton Catalog. Basically, if you have 15 hours or less of F grades, you must complete 15 consecutive hours of 100 level courses (or higher) with grades of C or better. If you have 16 hours or more of F grades, you must complete an equal number of hours of 100 level courses (or higher) with grades of C or better.

Once you have completed the courses -- meaning the semester has ended and the grades are submitted -- you may write a letter to the Director of Registration and Records asking to take advantage of the Forgiveness Policy.

I got a D in a course; should I take it over?
This depends on the course and its importance in your major. If you believe you can do significantly better in the course the second time around and it is necessary for your major or chosen career, it is probably a good idea to take it over. Both grades will appear on your transcript; however, the higher of the two will count in your GPA.

Will my grade point average from other colleges transfer?
No. If you attended another college before coming to Oakton, your GPA starts over at Oakton. If you transfer to another college after Oakton, you must report all institutions you have previously attended. Your combined GPA may be calculated for admission purposes, but your GPA from Oakton and from other colleges you have attended will not transfer.

I have experience in the field for the degree I am earning. Will I receive credit for job experience?
The Oakton Catalog lists provisions for students to receive college credit for job experience if they compile a portfolio and follow procedures that are available in the Advising and Counseling Centers.



Transfer Planning

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Do I need an associate degree to transfer?
No. However, in some cases it might be beneficial to obtain an associate degree first. If you are transferring out of state, check with that college or university. If you are transferring to an Illinois school, Oakton recommends you complete the Illinois Articulation Initiative, (IAI), General Education Core Curriculum prior to transferring.

How do I go about transferring?
Transferring to another college or university typically is a multi-step process. Meeting with an Academic Advisor to review your chosen school's requirements is always a helpful 'first step'. Academic Advisors can offer you assistance on the best process to follow to provide your chosen school all the necessary information needed for acceptance. You can also go to our web site's transfer guide page for information. On this page, we list all public and most private colleges in Illinois with direct links to information regarding transfer requirements.

I attended Oakton to earn some credits and plan on returning to my previous college. If I do well at Oakton, can I be readmitted at my previous institution?
Generally this is the best approach to get back into your previous college. Try to get as much information as you can about what you need to do to be readmitted, then put your effort into making the necessary life changes.

How do I determine what college is best for me?
There are many intangible things here, but a good start is to research colleges using the computers in the Advising and Counseling Centers or books such as Baron's Guide to Colleges. Also, speak to college representatives, teachers, counselors, and friends for information and help in making a decision.

How do I find out what is the best college for my major?
Talk to teachers, counselors and people in the work force. Talk to college representatives when they visit campus. Check the many information resources on transferring available in the Advising and Counseling Centers on computer data bases and in printed guides.

When should I apply to my transfer college?
The application will generally include deadline dates. If you plan on starting at another college in the fall, it is usually a good idea to submit your application by March. You will be able to list all classes in which you are currently enrolled.

Do I have to report all colleges I have attended when I complete an application?
Yes.

How do I get my Oakton transcript sent to another college or university?
To request that your transcript be sent, either complete a Transcript Request Form or send a letter to the Office of Registration and Records. Be sure to include your full name, the address where the transcript is to be sent, and your signature. You also can submit the request by fax to 847-635-1706. There is a $3 charge for each transcript copy.

How do I know if a course will transfer to another college?
Although it is always up to the other college, some agreements have been made to assist students in planning. The Illinois Articulation Initiative, (IAI), guarantees that courses satisfying the General Education Core Curriculum will transfer from Oakton to more than 96 participating colleges in the state. To provide further help in the transfer planning process, The Advising and Counseling Center staff has developed transfer guides and maintain information on the transferability of Oakton courses to other institutions.

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