Category Archives: Careers

Mayo Clinic to Visit Parkland Surgical Tech

Exciting opportunities are happening this spring for Parkland College Surgical Technology students!

The world-renowned Mayo Clinic is flying a recruitment team in later this month to pay a visit to our students, just one of several companies that have contacted us this month for access. Others include UnityPoint Health Group, which owns nine hospitals including Methodist, Proctor, Pekin, and others throughout Illinois and Iowa. Next week, our students will meet with Vantage Outsourcing, which outsources eye surgical equipment and techs from its base in Effingham and 10 satellite locations across the country.

It’s no surprise that top clinics and medical suppliers are seeking out Parkland College Surgical Technology graduates to fill their in-demand jobs. Our program is among the top in the nation for graduate success rates on the National Certifying Board exam. For four years running, Parkland has achieved a 100 percent pass rate, while the national pass rate for this exam is around 70 percent!

Graduates passing the national exam to become a certified surgical technologist (CST) demonstrate an understanding of the basic competencies for safe patient care in the operating room. These companies want highly skilled surgical technologists, and they know they can get them from Parkland College. Mayo Clinic already has one of our grads on its transplant team.

The surgical technologist serves as an integral part of the surgical team, standing next to and across from the surgeon during all surgical procedures. He or she is either

  • handling the instrumentation and the medications for the patient
  • helping handle tissue, or
  • troubleshooting anything that may arise.

We are credentialed professionals and vital surgical team members.

Guess what? This career field can offer a great job for you, too! In fact, Parkland’s Surgical Technology Program has a 100 % job placement rate. A lot of jobs are out there for these skills, both locally and nationally.

If you would like to learn more about a career as a surgical technologist, just let me know!

Carolyn Ragsdale, Program Director and Faculty
Surgical Technology at Parkland College
cragsdale@parkland.edu
217/373-3746

Applied Technology Student/Parent Information Night

Parkland College’s state-of-the-art technical training programs lead to high-tech careers! Some programs even guarantee 100% job placement for successful graduates.

Want to learn more about these cutting-edge programs and the careers available?

Attend our Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies Student/Parent Information Night on Wednesday, February 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Parkhill Applied Technology Center (T building).

This event is free to attend and open to high school juniors and seniors. Bring your families to check out our hands-on instructional labs, meet our faculty and area employers, and learn how you can begin a well-paying career you love with just two years (or less!) of training. Featured career areas include:

  • agriculture
  • collision repair
  • diesel power
  • HVAC
  • precision agriculture
  • land surveying
  • automotive technology
  • construction
  • horticulture
  • electrical control systems
  • industrial technology

Ready to sign up? Visit the Ag/EST SPIN website. Contact Aimee Densmore at agest@parkland.edu or 217/373-3838 with questions.

[Aimee Densmore is program manager for Parkland’s Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies department.]

Phi Theta Kappa: Exploring Innovation in the Local Community

Below, Phi Theta Kappa honor society invites anyone interested in entrepreneurship to attend next week’s FREE innovation events. LaTianna Dumas, a 2015 Urbana High School graduate and president of Parkland’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, extends the invitation.

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Are you interested in learning how local innovators developed unique and successful business ventures? Do you dream of a nontraditional career path that will allow you to go where your passion and creativity can take you? Phi Theta Kappa can help you explore these concepts of innovation, to help you turn your dreams into reality and success!

Phi Theta Kappa, the official international honor society of two-year colleges, recognizes the academic success of community college students and builds the leadership and professional skills of its members. In addition, Phi Theta Kappa builds camaraderie and compassion within community colleges. Parkland’s local chapter, Alpha Psi Eta, features a student-run officer team overseen by their advisor, Professor Lori Garrett. Their current focuses are engaging Parkland students from different backgrounds, contributing to the local community, and exploring their current Honors Study Topic, “Global Perspectives: How the World Works.”

Parkland’s chapter is researching the roles of individualism and collectivism in fostering business innovation. There are numerous facets to innovation, and the innovative process varies greatly depending on the creators and the corporate and societal structure around them. As a culmination of their research process—a model called “Honors in Action”—Phi Theta Kappa is hosting a series of three presentations featuring local business innovators from right here in Champaign-Urbana!

The series, “How to Build a Business,” runs from Monday, December 5 through Wednesday, December 7 at noon each day in Room D244. Attendees will hear local entrepreneurs discuss their businesses, their inspiration, how they got started, and how they turned their ideas into success. Everyone is invited to attend these one-hour talks and perhaps gain some inspiration of your own.

Here is the lineup:
Monday, December 5 PandaMonium Doughnuts: fueling Champaign-Urbana’s doughnut cravings (free doughnuts to the first dozen attendees!)
Tuesday, December 6 CU Community Fab Lab: creativity through collaboration
Wednesday, December 7 Cracked Food Truck: created for students, by students

To learn more about Phi Theta Kappa or this series, contact chapter president LaTi Dumas at latianna.dumas@yahoo.com. You may also contact chapter advisor Lori Garrett at lgarrett @parkland.edu.

 

[Hilary Valentine is associate director for Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations.]

 

 

Three Good Reasons to Take an Online Course

Usually, when you see this headline, you expect to see reasons like “greater convenience” or “lower costs” or “a more comfortable learning environment.” And while all of these are true, here are three reasons to take an online course you might not have considered.

1. Technology education. Most, if not all students will be working with “others” sometime in their future careers. To be successful, the use of technology is very important. Taking online courses now at Parkland College helps prepare you to communicate with others using today’s technology, including virtual meetings and collaborations through email and social media devices. Business and management instructor Mark Kesler says he encourages all of his students to be comfortable in the online learning environment: “I highly recommend all my students take at least one online class before they leave Parkland.”

2. Cultural diversity. Students all around the world take Parkland’s online courses. By enrolling in an online course, you get the chance to meet students from other countries. Students benefit mutually from learning about each others’ cultures and educational and life experiences. Often, you can get a “study abroad” experience without leaving the comfort of your own home.

3. Career skill-building. Taking an online class requires discipline, punctuality, and self-motivation, all excellent skills to have in the workforce. Online courses create a solid foundation that prepares you for your next step, whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution or starting your career.

So, while online courses are recommended for their quality instruction, transferability, and affordability, they offer so much more than just that for students. Online courses can provide a broad experience that shapes the future of your employment and life goals.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead, sign up for an online class today!

[Lori Wendt is the learning management system specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland College.]

***Parkland celebrates National Distance Learning Week, Nov. 7-11.***

PRECS: A new opportunity for community college students

How does the environment affect plant and animal development? An exciting new research opportunity for community college students coming to Parkland College this summer will give students a look at some of the answers.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-12-27-14-pmCalled PRECS, or Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, the program is designed to provide community college students with authentic research experiences in the area of phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon of a single genotype producing multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Parkland’s Dr. C. Britt Carlson and Dr. Nathan Schroeder of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the program’s creators, recently announced that PRECS will be up and running May 24 to July 26, 2017. PRECS was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Overview

The 10 community college students who will be chosen to participate in PRECS will be paired with research mentors at the University of Illinois, working on such projects as:

  • the interaction between genotype and ozone pollution on maize growth
  • the effect of environmental stress on neuroanatomy
  • the interactions of genes and environment on fish behavior

1) Boot Camp
To tailor to community college students, who may not have had any research experience and relatively few college-level science courses, PRECS starts with a 2-week “boot-camp” to prepare students to conduct research at the University of Illinois.

2) Research Immersion
After this preparation, students enter an 8-week research immersion program at the University of Illinois.

3) Presentations
Students will then present their research at their home community college as well as at an undergraduate research symposium on the University of Illinois campus.

Program Benefits

Participation in a program like PRECS is a great way for students to gain experience, create new contacts, explore future careers, and build their resumes:

  • Throughout the program, student participants will gain hands-on experience, learning while they explore the world of research science. PRECS provides students with the background needed to be successful in a research laboratory and an opportunity to use those skills doing real science at the University of Illinois.
  • Participants will work closely with UIUC researchers and other community college science students, creating a network within their professional field.
  • Participation in this program will be a great resume-builder, as students will be able to show future academic institutions and employers evidence of their expertise in the sciences and their ability to take initiative, work independently, and work collaboratively.

PRECS also provides students with a $5,500 stipend for participation in the program. Housing, food, and travel (if needed) allowances are also available.

Eligibility

Students interested in participating in PRECS must be attending a community college, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and have completed General Biology I (General Chemistry I is also preferred). PRECS encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups.

Applications for summer 2017 are due March 15. For more information on PRECS, please visit precs.igb.illinois.edu.

[Dr. C. Britt Carlson is an associate professor in chemistry at Parkland College.]