Hundreds of University of Illinois students take Parkland College classes each year to shorten the road to their Illinois degrees. Below, Daniel Ito shares how Parkland helped him achieve his educational goals.
Two classes shy of a full-semester transfer from the University of Michigan to Illinois, Daniel Ito chose Parkland College to fill in the gaps in his education and graduate on time.
A Champaign native, Daniel had known about Parkland since his youth as a College for Kids student on campus. As a spring 2008 freshman, he was back, this time taking microeconomics and macroeconomics courses.
“Being a business student, I guess I just appreciated the cost effectiveness of it,” Daniel said about his Parkland experience. “The quality of learning wasn’t sacrificed for the cost.”
So Daniel took other Parkland classes after entering the UIUC in fall 2008, such as music appreciation, introduction to psychology, and Japanese.
“Many of these classes were online, which required a different mindset for me,” he said. “I learned time management because I was on my own schedule rather than sitting in a classroom, and I enjoyed them.”
Daniel graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Finance in 2011. A few months later, he moved to New York and worked for two years in mergers and acquisitions for a multinational accounting firm.
Since returning to the Champaign area, these days Daniel focuses on art, freelance video production, and working on his own peace project, Crane Cloud, through which he has folded more than 4,000 origami cranes for peace. He believes his Parkland experience as well as volunteer opportunities in New York helped him better discover the kind of life he wants to live.
“If I’m doing work that’s not really helping others and I’m not really happy myself doing it, then what’s the point, really?” he asked. “Figuring out what you’re really passionate about learning, without the pressure of having to pay back a lot of school loans—that was a major benefit of coming to Parkland.”
’08 Parkland student, Business
’11 U of I graduate, Finance
***Visit the Parkland College website for more information on concurrent enrollment for UIUC students.***
[Hilary Valentine is the associate director of marketing at Parkland.]