Computer Applications for Business FAQ

Can a student earn credit for a course without taking the course?
Some of the CAB courses have a proficiency exam that can be taken if you feel you know the material in a particular course. Successful performance on the exam would allow a student to move on to the next level course without having to take the first. But college credit would not be earned for the first course. After verifying with the CAB program coordinator that a proficiency exam is available for a given course, contact the testing center in Des Plaines to set up a time to take the exam. If you think your work or life experience qualifies you to earn Oakton credit for a course, contact, the CAB program coordinator to discuss this further.

Can a student register for a course without having taken the prerequisite for the course?
If you register for a course without taking the prerequisite course, you are expected to have the equivalent knowledge of the prerequisite course on the first day of class. The instructor may assign a project or ask the students to take an exam covering the material from the prerequisite course on the first day of class and you would need to be successful in this activity. It is strongly recommended that the student talk to the CAB coordinator before the class begins. The student's knowledge will be evaluated and a recommendation will be made.

Does the student have to take the courses that are listed in the degree and certificate requirements?
Depending on your work experience, you may be able to substitute an advanced course for a required lower-level course. Contact the CAB coordinator to make a substitution determination. In working towards any degree or certificate, you must earn the number of credits for that degree or certificate; this can be done by taking the required courses, substituting courses, or earning Oakton credit for life experience.

Are there any courses that are only offered once a year? If so when are they offered?
The following courses are not offered every semester:



CAB132 CAB184
CAB160 CAB225
CAB180 CAB265
CAB182 CAB275

When and where are the CAB courses offered?
Most CAB courses are offered on both the Des Plaines campus and the Skokie campus.  Many classes are offered online or as a hybrid class meaning there is a traditional face-to-face meeting as well as an online component.  The program offers courses during the day, evening, interim periods, and weekend. Many courses meet only once a week. Some run in a 5 week, 7 week, 10 week or 12 week format. Several courses are also offered through the distance learning program as an online class.  Consult the course schedule for specific information on when courses are offered for a given semester.

Whom can the student contact with questions about the computer curriculum at Oakton?
The CTIS Department--Computer Technology and Information Systems--is made up of two programs: CAB--Computer Applications for Business, and CIS--Computer Information Systems. The coordinator for each of these programs or the department chair can be contacted as indicated below:

Harold Ogg, chair of CTIS, coordinator of CSC or 847.376.7092

Michele Reznick, coordinator of CIS or 847.635.1904

Doris Gronseth, coordinator of CAB or 847.376.7055

To contact any faculty member in CAB, consult the faculty page of this web site. Other programs also offer computer oriented curriculum such as Computer Networking and Systems, Electronics, etc. Consult the college catalog for further information.

Should I consider taking any of the courses online?
The CAB program offers a variety of classes delivered through the World Wide Web. The Microsoft Office Specialist Core certificate as well as courses in all four main components of Microsoft Office--Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access can be learned in an online course environment. Visit the online courses link on this web site for additional courses taught online in the CTIS Department. These credit courses can usually be adapted to the student's schedule and availability. The courses taught online often require a majority of class time be spent on the web, though most will require additional materials such as textbooks and/or video media. The courses contain a discussion forum and other online devices through which students can interact via the web with their teacher and classmates as well as a variety of other sources.

Online courses require different skills and learning styles from conventional courses. For instance, students in an online class are responsible for scheduling their own "class time." Motivation and self-discipline are essential for success in an online course. The online courses cover the same material as the on campus sections of the same courses. The expected student requirements are the same whether the course is taken online or on campus. Visit Oakton's online learning site for more information.

Do I really need to take a keyboarding course?
With a good majority of communication taking place through the computer, keyboarding--being able to enter data without looking at your fingers and using both hands--is an essential skill. Do you want to be able to say all you want in an e-mail message and not have to cut it short because of the time it takes to find all the keys? Do you want to be able to concentrate on learning and/or using a software package without slowing yourself down looking for all of the necessary keys?

CAB 102 Basic Keyboarding is a one credit course that, in seven weeks, will teach you to keyboard without looking at your fingers. CAB104 Skill Building and Formatting is for the student that wants to further develop their keyboarding, document design, word processing, and communication skills. If you had a keyboarding course and wish to improve your speed or accuracy, consider CAB 106 Keyboarding Speed and Accuracy Development.

Can I actually accomplish desktop publishing tasks using a word processor?
While the CAB program has a variety of desktop publishing courses and certificate/degree options for those wanting to work in that capacity, if you are working in an environment or have personal needs that require a "published" looking document from time to time you may want to check out the desktop publishing features in the Word software of Microsoft Office. CAB 225 Advanced Word Processing and Publishing will teach you the basic desktop publishing features of the word processing software. With these tools, newsletters, flyers, business cards, brochures, etc. can be developed.

Should I take CAB 104 before or after CAB 125?
CAB 125 should be taken before taking CAB 104. CAB 104 will assist you in building the speed and accuracy of your keyboarding skills and enable you to create business documents in a variety of formats, as well as complete business forms. It will also review and enhance the word processing skills that were developed in CAB 125. For example, as a table display is created, the sort feature in Word may be used to organize the material within the table. Or as one of the varied letter styles is learned, it may be developed as a merge document so the same document can be sent to several persons personalizing the letter automatically where needed. Students complete the CAB 104 course having developed better keyboarding skills, confidence in creating business documents in a variety of formats and a solid foundation in using the many and varied word processing features that are available.

Can I get salaried work experience in the CAB area while I am still taking courses?
Many students enrolled in the CAB program have salaried jobs in the CAB employment area while they are completing their studies. After a couple of courses students are able to find part-time employment on the college campus or in businesses in the community.

After completing a minimum of 15 credits in CAB with a grade of C or better in each course, students can register for CAB 251 Computer Applications for Business Internship. This course provides salaried employment experience in a computer-related environment where previously learned skills and knowledge are put to use in daily on-the-job work activities. The student must work a minimum of ten hours per week. There are weekly classroom meetings to integrate work experience with classroom activities.

How do I know if I should take a Desktop Publishing course in CAB or a course in the Graphic Design program?
The desktop publishing courses in the CAB program will teach you how to use the tools of the software used in desktop publishing such as Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc. The graphics arts program will teach you the graphic arts concepts using the software to do this. Consult the coordinator of each program for more details.