Oakton’s Brooks earns national community college professional award

(March 20, 2017) Oakton Community College Vice President for Student Affairs Karl Brooks, Ed.D., was recognized with the national NASPA Community College Professional Award at the NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio, March 11-15.

“We congratulate Dr. Brooks on being recognized for the critical work he has done to enhance Oakton student success, persistence and completion,” says Oakton President Joianne L. Smith. “Karl’s leadership is already pushing us forward in building a culture where students are not only held to high expectations but supported in their journey.”

At Oakton, Brooks oversees student life; athletics, recruitment and outreach; student financial assistance; access, equity and diversity, health services, counseling, the Enrollment Center, the Learning Center and advising. Additionally, the college constructed a new student center to promote student engagement and involvement last year. Brooks also oversaw a change in the college’s payment plan structure that resulted in a reduction in student schedule cancelations due to nonpayment.

A member of the President’s Council, Brooks also serves as co-chair of the Student Success Team, a cross-functional college-wide leadership group.  He also leads the enrollment management ream, and directs the co-curricular assessment initiatives of staff.

“Serving the personal development and the educational aspirations of Oakton students is my passion,” Brooks says.

In November, he was selected Region IV-East Outstanding Community College Professional by NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education based on the following criteria:

  • A minimum of five years’ experience in student affairs;
  • Contributed to creating a campus environment that promotes student learning and personal development;
  • Current NASPA member within Region IV-East or have retired from the region;
  • Demonstrated active involvement with the profession, NASPA and community college research, policies or practice at the regional level; and
  • Outstanding individual contribution in innovative and responsive services and programs that address the varied and emerging needs of students at the community college.

“I am simply humbled by the recognition received from NASPA and from my colleagues. To be recognized by higher education professionals is recognition of the outstanding support and collaboration from leaders, mentors and colleagues that have nurtured my development over the years,” Brooks says.

Brooks came to Oakton in August, 2015, following service at Joliet Junior College as dean of student success, where he lead and supervised the student success team, which oversaw critical departments and programs that support the effective engagement, persistence and success of students.

Prior to his employment at Joliet, Brooks served DePaul University and North Central College in various student affairs leadership capacities. He earned his bachelor’s degree from North Central College, Master of Science in Education degree from Drake University and his doctorate in Education from DePaul University.