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Malcolm X College is located near the birth place of the City Colleges of Chicago, Crane Junior College, which was established in 1911 at the corner of Jackson and Oakley. After a modest beginning with only 30 students that first year, Crane grew to be the largest junior college in the nation by the year 1929 with 4,000 students.     

The Great Depression forced the college to close in 1933 only to re-open less than a year later under the name Herzl Junior College. It was named to honor Theodore Herzl, a journalist, playwright and an early leader of the movement for an independent Jewish state. During World War II, the school served as a Naval training college in 1944 and 1945. In the 1960s, there were numerous civil rights demonstrations at Herzl Junior College.     

The CCC Board of Trustees renamed the school Malcolm X College. At the time it was split into two campuses: one on Harrison Street at the site of the old Loyola Dental School building; the other campus was located a block west of Halsted on 14th Street in an old, abandoned grammar school building. The former site of Malcolm X College at 1900 W. Van Buren opened in 1969.    

Today, Malcolm X College serves as the Center of Excellence in healthcare for City Colleges of Chicago, offering a large selection of health sciences programs that prepares students to succeed in many exciting healthcare careers. In January 2016, Malcolm X College opened its new campus across the street from the old location. The 500,000 square-foot campus includes a school of Health Sciences that offers Healthcare and general education courses, a virtual hospital, simulated healthcare technology, a dental hygiene clinic, smart technology in every classroom, a conference center, a daycare center, and a 1,500-space parking garage.  

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