Parkland Study Abroad: Meet Scott Christopher

What’s the first thing a student tells me when they come back from study abroad? This was the best experience of my life and has changed my life forever.” I encourage you to follow Communication major Scott Christopher on his life-changing experience abroad and live vicariously through him until you can go on your own Parkland study abroad! In this first video, Scott introduces himself and a few new friends.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.

***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at for more information.

HS Students Invited to Try Ag/Engineering/Tech Jobs

Regional high school juniors and seniors will soon compete in pit crew contests, spark plug challenges, carpentry contests, and other hands-on events introducing future career options in agriculture, engineering, and related technologies.

The annual Parkland College Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies Open House is happening Friday, October 14.

Parkland’s state-of-the-art lab spaces will host the day’s events. The Parkhill Applied Technology Center, the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center, and the Construction Education Alliance (Parkland on Mattis) simulate on-the-job conditions using industry-recognized equipment.

Students will choose two innovative sessions from automotive; collision repair; diesel power; electrical power; industrial technology and welding; construction management; engineering science; and agriculture, precision ag, and horticulture. Each session will last 40 minutes and provide a hands-on, career-exploration activity.

High schools are encouraged to bring groups of interested students. However, parents/guardians are also invited to bring their high schooler to the event should the local high school choose not to participate. Every participant will receive a free T-shirt and lunch.

Please visit for more information and to register. Registration is required by September 28.

Alum’s Career Has Gone to the Dogs (and Cats, Etc.)

From the time she was eight years old, Linda March wanted to be a veterinarian and had planned accordingly. “I applied to and was accepted to the University of Illinois as a graduating senior in high school,” she recently related.

But, as is the case for many students, life had other ideas in mind.

“I decided that I was going to get married instead,” she said, laughing.  “I was young and in love and didn’t go to school.”

The desire to pursue her lifelong passion never faded, however, although it was sidetracked for a while by the birth of her two children. “When they were young, I decided I still wanted to be a veterinarian,” Linda reminisced. “I started Parkland when Heather (oldest child) was about five.”

Parkland was able to help Linda coordinate her class schedule with her busy life as a mom. She was able eventually to complete her studies and graduate.

“I took one class at a time until the kids got into school,” she said. “Then I was able to go full time. Parkland took me five years instead of two.”

Linda transferred to the University of Illinois to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. She said it wasn’t easy being a working parent of two rowdy kids, while going to school,

“They always seemed to fight when I had a paper to do!” she remarked.  Yet through dogged persistence and passion, she accomplished her goal: in 1996 this wife and mother became wife, mother, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine!

In 2003, after seven years of working at the Paris Vet Hospital in Paris, Illinois, Dr. March was able to realize another lifelong dream. She opened her own practice, the Red Barn Veterinary Clinic, LLC in Sidney, Illinois, where she is celebrating her twentieth year as a vet.

A passion for animals. A dream. The willpower to see it through to its conclusion. These are the tools that Dr. March brought with her. A flexible, convenient schedule of affordable classes. Instructors who matched her passion for knowledge. That’s what Parkland offered Dr. March as she began her academic journey, and it’s what Parkland still offers 30 years later.


[To get started finishing your degree, contact Tony Hooker with the Parkland College Adult Re-entry Center at or 217/351-2462.]

Top 5 Things to Do at Campus Visit Day

Seniors, still undecided on where to attend?  Juniors, wanting to get a head start on your college planning?  Here are the top 5 things to do while attending Parkland’s Campus Visit Day on September 23 or October 10.

Top 5 Things to Do While Attending Parkland’s Campus Visit Day

  1. Speak to students who are currently attending Parkland. Get an idea of campus life, student clubs and organizations, and much more! Do your parents have questions about safety?  Do you wonder where the best place is to live or just where to get the best cup of coffee? Ask our students! You will really get the inside scoop from students who made the decision to attend this amazing campus. Get an idea of why Parkland was the best choice for them.
  1. Worried about the price of college? Find out how much it is going to cost you to attend Parkland as well as residency information and learn how to finance college through scholarships, grants, and loans.  This will save you from any surprises down the road!
  1. Tour campus! Campus tours generally give you much more info than you could see if you walked a campus on your own.  Not only will you see classrooms, cafeterias, bookstore, labs, art gallery, and much more, you also learn about services on campus for you to utilize and fun facts you may have never known!
  1. Meet one on one with an Admissions advisor to get all of your specific questions answered! We know that you and your parents have many questions, and we are here to answer them and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
  1. Apply to be a student! Get a step ahead of your peers and fill out an application while on campus. That way, if you have any questions while filling out the application, the pros will be right there to answer your questions! Visit our Application Station and complete an application onsite!

Ready to visit?  RSVP here:

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

New Tech at 2016 IL Regional College Fair

For thousands of people like you who are just starting the college search, the Illinois Regional College Fair has been an excellent way to begin.

But new technology at this year’s fair will offer visitors an even better way to stay connected with the university and college reps who will be there than this one-time, face-to-face meeting.

Parkland College will again host the Illinois Regional College Fair on Wednesday, September 21 from 6 to 8 pm in the Student Union. One of the most well-attended college fairs in east central Illinois, the IRCF is sponsored by the Illinois Association for College Admissions Counseling.

Last year, we had more than 80 schools from all over the country in attendance at the fair. You can ask questions about programs, campus life, admissions requirements, and much more! This is a great way to feel out different schools and see what may be the best fit for you and your interests.

For the first time ever, the Illinois Regional College Fair will be using StriveScan, which is a great way for students and institutions to exchange information. Admissions representatives can scan your barcode to get your contact information in a much more efficient manner and so that they can send you additional materials about their school.  Students should go to and register, and then they will be sent a barcode for use at the fair. Don’t wait! Be sure to register before you come to the fair!

To see the current list of schools registered for the fair, go to, engage on social media with the #ParklandFair and we hope to see you on September 21st for the 2016 Illinois Regional College Fair!

The event is free and open to the public. Whether you are still in high school, or a community college student looking for your next stop, come out to the Illinois Regional College Fair and see what options you may have. Going on college visits can be expensive and time-consuming, so let them come to you!