Emory Williams Academy for Black Men

Academy scholars are part of a community designed for historically underserved and underrepresented students at Oakton with emphasis on providing focused support for Black male-identifying students who are on a journey to advance their education and achieve their goals. Whether you want to earn your associate degree and transfer to a four-year school or kick-start a career with training, the Academy will meet you where you are and help you thrive.

 

The Academy is led by various Oakton Community College administrators, faculty and staff dedicated to teaching underserved populations. You'll be supported every day by a group of committed professors and student-success coaches—and your fellow scholars.
This unique community will help you successfully enter college, navigate your way through your classes, tear down barriers along the way, form meaningful relationships, and transition to your next step.

We’ll build community through special programming geared toward Academy scholars, cultural enrichment opportunities, special speakers and events.

Ready to Learn More?

Request Information


Mario Borha
Emory Williams Academy
Program Chair
847.635.1654
oabm@oakton.edu

How to Apply

We are here to help you from day one—and we mean that. If you’re ready to apply, fill out the form below and we’ll contact you to help you through the application process.

Academy Interest Form

Good on Your Own?

Follow the steps below:
1. Your first step is to apply to Oakton as a degree-seeking student. Get started by filling out the general admission application.

2. After you are admitted to Oakton, you will fill out an application to the Academy. Make sure to fill out the interest form so we can reach out to you and help you enroll!

About Emory Williams Innovative Programs

The Academy is designed to support historically underserved and underrepresented students along their academic and career pathways.

We’ve created programmatic pathways that stack. This means that every semester, you’ll earn credits—and more importantly, experience—that will help you earn short-term certificates that stack like blocks to an associate degree in your area of study.

Programs


Your Future Success is Our Mission

As you plan to graduate or move on from the Academy, your support network will activate to ensure that you have clear and achievable next steps.

We’ll help you identify a transfer institution and make sure your credits transfer. Or, we’ll connect you with local employers in your field for a competitive job or internship.

More About the Program

As a member of the Academy, we'll help you identify other opportunities and resources at Oakton that fit your unique goals and interests. Some of these programs include: BLACK Student Success Program, Black Student Union, TRIO for first-generation students, and the STEM Scholars Program.

We exercise responsibility through accountability to our scholars first. We embrace diversity and honor the multiple representations of people in our community. We advance equity by acknowledging the harm perpetrated against Black men and other underrepresented and underserved populations by systemic discrimination in all levels of their education, and intentionally disrupting it here at the College. We uphold integrity through a commitment to authenticity, trust and transparency by all participants of the academy: scholars, faculty and staff. We cultivate compassion within a community of scholars that appreciates that personal fulfillment and well-being are central to our mission. We foster collaboration between all participants of the Academy and the larger community that supports it. We recognize our interdependence in supporting the success of our scholars.

About Emory Williams

Emory Williams 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. Mr. Williams played a pivotal role in laying the foundation for the antiracist institution we continue to build at Oakton. He believed in the power of education to transform lives and was a passionate advocate for access and opportunity for all. The Academy is named in his honor as a leader who made an enormous impact both at Oakton and in the greater Evanston community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Oakton is an open-access institution. 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 male, are degree and/or transfer bound, and are interested in any of the following academic/career pathways: engineering, computer science, law enforcement and criminal justice, accounting, business management, marketing management, cannabis education programs, or human services. Your first step is to fill out the interest form. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact us at oabm@oakton.edu.

Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis depending on several factors such as how long you've been at Oakton, which academic track you are on and other factors. Please contact us at oabm@oakton.edu to discuss your academic needs and whether the Academy is the right fit for your unique needs.

Once you are accepted into the College and have completed the Academy application, an intake specialist will contact you promptly to share next steps.

No. The Academy uses a cohort model and an Academy advisor will support you in scheduling the right courses for your academic track.

The Academy does not provide specific accommodations. However, we will support you in receiving accommodations through the Access and Disability Resources Center (ADRC) if you are eligible and we will work with them to best support you. We also provide an abundance of resources such as academic and career advising, mentorship, workshops, extracurricular cultural activities, and referrals to Learning Center resources such as tutoring, ADRC accommodations, TRIO study skills prep, and testing/placement.

Oakton offers a wide array of financial aid and scholarshipsAcademy staff will inform you of the additional financial resources available. We will support you in filling out the FAFSA, scholarship applications, applications for emergency funding, and other grant opportunities. We will also support you in borrowing campus resources such as laptops, calculators, hotspots, and library books when needed.

Students accepted into the Academy must choose from one of the mandatory academic tracks which will dictate which courses you need. That is why you will have an Academy academic advisor to support you through the process and you will be required to meet with the Academy advisor each semester to keep you on track to reach your goals.

Absolutely! If your academic goals change or your eligibility for the program changes, you can apply again and the Academy intake specialist will reach out to you to discuss your application.

Any changes in student status (dropping classes or taking off a semester) should be immediately discussed with your Academy advisor to determine your continued eligibility for the program.

Oakton students purchase books through the Oakton bookstore or online unless a professor instructs otherwise. Some instructors use Open Educational Resources (OERs) to lessen the financial burden on students, so always check the syllabus before purchasing books. Oakton also has a Textbook Purchase Program for students who need additional financial support and the Academy staff will gladly assist you in filling out the application.