Category Archives: Community Education

Community Education offers personal enrichment classes for all ages.

Mapping the Future: Careers in Transition

It is never easy trying to plan for the unknown. This is especially true in the uncertain times our community and state are currently facing. Will there be funding? Will I have a job? If I change jobs, how long until that position is affected?

Positioning yourself for the next chapter in life can be overwhelming; where do you even start? A road map for success would be helpful, especially during times of unwanted career transitions (i.e. downsizing, layoffs, closings, etc).

Your Future Ahead Road Sign

Looking for a job—a really good job you actually want—will take time and a lot of effort. Changing careers is challenging because rarely will you meet ALL the must-have requirements, but there are things you can do and anticipate in your search that will help you shine.

We welcome you to learn from Rick Galbreath, SPHR, who is a nationally published author, public speaker, trainer, consultant and founder of Performance Growth Partners Inc. with over 25 years of experience. Rick will be at Parkland College Business Training from 8am to noon March 29, 30 and 31, presenting on “Mapping the Future: Career Transition Workshops.”

The Job Search: What I Want Next
Tue Mar 29     8am-noon

The Resume: Showcasing Your Talents
Wed Mar 30     8am-noon

The Interview: Landing the Job
Thu Mar 31     8am-noon

For more information, contact Business Training at 217/351-2235 or businesstraining@parkland.edu.
[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert, CPP, is program manager for Parkland College Business Training.]

Nursing Conference: Continuing the Legacy of Sister Julia

[This post was written by Richard Francis, Regional Director for Clinical Education at Presence Covenant Medical Center.]

What if I told you Parkland’s Nursing program had Catholic roots? 

Sister Julia 2
Sister Moriarty (News-Gazette photo.)

Sister Julia Moriarty started Parkland’s nursing program in a joint venture between Parkland College and Presence Covenant Medical Center (then known as Mercy Hospital). Sister Julia was a remarkable and accomplished woman, who was first and foremost a servant to others. A member of the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, Sister Julia first came to Champaign-Urbana in 1942 to finish her nursing training and serve at the local Catholic hospital. She stayed for close to 50 years.

In the late 1960s, Parkland approached Sister Julia about starting a nursing program at the college. Although at the time, Mercy had its own hospital-based nursing program, Sister Julia saw the college program as a way to positively impact not just one hospital, but the community as a whole and nursing as a profession. Sister Julia spent five years living in the convent with the other sisters at the hospital while working with Parkland to establish their nursing program. Colleagues who taught with Sister Julia typically remark that she was well beyond everyone else in her thinking and vision for what nursing should be, and how nursing can positively impact the whole community. She was loved and respected by colleagues, co-workers, and patients. Her kind and warm spirit touched all who knew her.

In the spirit and example of Sister Julia, Parkland College and Presence Covenant are co-sponsoring a nursing conference with a local scope and flavor, The Spirit of Nursing Conference: Emerging Topics in Nursing.  Topics at this conference and future conferences will be kept global to appeal to all types of nurses, not just specific disciplines. Topics at the May 20 conference will include: The Changing Landscape of Healthcare, End of Life Decisions, Generations in the Workplace, and Life Skills for the Nurse.

The conference will begin with a light breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Presentations begin at 9 a.m. and the conference will end at 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.  Continuing education units (CEUs) available through the conference: 4.

The conference fee is $49, with proceeds supporting the Sister Julia Scholarship Fund at Parkland College.  Advanced registration is required due to limited seating.

To register, or for more information, please click here or call 217/351-2235.

 

Words that Work

Today’s guest writer is Mary Shores, president and CEO of Midstate Collection Solutions, Inc. based in Champaign and creator of the “Words that Work” principle of customer service.

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If you think your customer-service scenarios are bad, let me tell you about mine: I own and operate a collection agency! Any situation involving stressed-out people and their money can be a nightmare, but once you add in the stereotypes and the fact that collections is one of the most reviled industries in the world, you’ve got a recipe for disastrous outcomes. Let’s face it, people hate us more than they hate going to the dentist!

What I have found, however, is that a collection agency is the perfect testing ground for refining customer-service skills. “Words that Work” is a customer-service philosophy I developed in the lab of my own company and have used with success. So, if I can make these customers happy and obtain positive results in my industry, think of what Words that Work can do for you! (After all, do you want a soldier who has only experienced boot camp or one who has been battle-tested?)

Consider this: A happy customer is a walking billboard for your company. Take Harley Davidson as an example. They call their customers “disciples” for a reason. Harley Davidson customers wear their logo, put it on their other vehicles, even tattoo it on their bodies. Heck, I know people who do this who don’t even own a Harley! I want to help you get on the path to creating your own disciples.

Words that Work:

  • Improves customer service outcomes.
  • Effectively diffuses angry or upset customers.
  • Builds trust and rapport.
  • Empowers your staff.
  • Creates consistency.

My philosophy features a three-step manifesto:

  1. Stop Staying Negative Words
    Negative words like “no”, “can’t”, and “unfortunately” reinforce a negative outcome for customers and incite them to do battle with your company. I will teach you what words to stop saying and why they can impact a customer so strongly.
  1. Start Using Words that Work
    Using language that supports the solution rather than the problem is the way to greatly improve the outcomes for your customers and your company. I will teach you what words to use, how to respond in different situations, and how to build consistent results.
  1. Always Say What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t Do
    Build trust and confidence while you create effective solutions for your customers.

Starting in January 2016 at Parkland College Business Training, I will teach you how to never say no and how to create solutions and have them in place to readily resolve customer-service issues. To hold your seat for my session, register here now!

***Words that Work has transformed my business and has changed my life and the lives of my employees and workshop attendees. When I saw the need for this kind of teaching and its applications, not only in business but in personal life, I wanted to reach as many people as possible. I started writing the book Words that Work this year, and it will be published through Hay House Publishing in 2017. If you’d like to follow my progress and receive my monthly newsletter packed with coaching exercises, sign up at www.MaryShores.com.***

 

Memphis can seem miraculous!

[This spring, experience the home of the blues and the
birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll on a fun, three-day excursion in the magnificent river city of Memphis, Tennessee. Parkland Community Education Program Manager John Eby, no stranger to the sights and sounds of Memphis, provides a taste of what’s to come.]

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Memphis, Tennessee, is a hard-working southern city that requires several hours of travel through relatively monotonous countryside to reach. When you approach it in the daytime, you wonder if there’s anything special about it, because it looks like many other metro areas: a little desolate, a little desperate, with a beltway around its stone, glass, and steel structures. And then, there’s the very wide and very muddy Mississippi splashing up against its western side.

But! As the sun goes down, and the neon comes on, a miraculous thing happens! Memphis transforms into one of the most fun, most delicious, and most welcoming cities in America. If you’ve been there, you know that Beale Street is lined with Blues venues, BBQ restaurants, and small-time vendors with shelves full of kitschy souvenirs, rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia, and of course … everything Elvis.

If you’ve never been to Memphis, know that you arrive early, you stay late, you eat meat that’s sloppy with sauce and desserts that are rich and satisfying. Then you’re expected to hop from house to house to hear the Blues played by up-and-comers and old-timers alike. You can eat more, imbibe more, and enjoy the true heart and soul of the city until the early morning hours. (Specific recommendations from a two-time visitor: Blues City Café and King’s Palace.)

At St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, real miracles happen, and Parkland College has a unique and long-lasting connection to the medical facility’s campus. In 2011, students, staff, faculty, and affiliates—36 altogether—spent spring break completing the design and installing the landscaping for a garden outside the hospital’s main entrance and adjacent to the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion. Read a pretrip profile here. Since its completion and dedication as “The Hope Garden”, this space has served patients and their families as a place for meditation, reflection, and play. It’s a special connection to a miraculous place for the Parkland community.

Join us on a great three-day trip, April 6–8, 2016, and experience these highlights of Memphis and more! Our itinerary includes visits to Graceland (we can’t forget Elvis), the Mississippi River Museum, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Center for Southern Folklore, and the Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion at St. Jude, with free time to enjoy the fantastic meals and music served up on Beale Street.

Reserve your spot today; your deposit is due Dec. 18, with the balance due Feb. 26. For more information about the trip and to complete a registration/deposit form, please contact Parkland College Community Education at 217/353-2055 or communityed@parkland.edu.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Bringing Energy and Passion to the Workplace

Gallup reports that 70% of U.S. workers are not engaged at work, costing an estimated $450 billion to $550 billion annually from loss of productivity, safety, and quality.[1]

Surely, most people would prefer to be engaged in their work, so it seems in the best interest of both employees and employers to do something about this staggering number.

So how do we get more engaged? Famed business leader and Harvard Business School Professor Bill George said “missions motivate, dollars don’t.” Real engagement comes when your interests and values are aligned with your employer’s vision and mission, so that the work becomes personally meaningful. It might involve making a difference in the world, helping other people, connecting with others, or creating something new. People whose jobs align with their values and interests are the ones who say, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this job.”

For employees, getting this type of synergy requires an ongoing process of inner contemplation about your interests and values, and creative brainstorming about how they can be better met at work. You may need to have difficult conversations about how to refocus or redefine your work, or even pursue a new job. Or it might just require a simple shift in mindset to notice and focus on what’s right about your job rather than on what’s wrong.

For employers, this synergy requires creating work environments in which each person’s contribution is understood and appreciated. It involves getting to know your employees personally, providing opportunities for them to understand their interests and values, and then working creatively to align them with your mission and vision. And when problems happen, it means trying to understand where the misalignment is happening and creatively redirecting rather than blaming.

When people see opportunities to contribute to an exciting vision that aligns with their personal values and interests, magic happens. As Goethe says, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred… Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Want to learn how to bring energy and passion to YOUR work? Check out our new workshop, here.

[1] State of the American Workplace, Gallup, Inc., 2013.

[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert, CPP, is Program Manager for Parkland College Business Training.]