Category Archives: Enrolling

Celebrating 10 years of the Pathway to Illinois Partnership!

For a decade now, hundreds of students have started at Parkland College through the Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program and graduated successfully from the University of Illinois.

Parkland Pathway to Illinois is a two-year program where you attend Parkland College for your general education classes but can also take one class a semester at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  The program gives you the benefit of small classes with dedicated faculty from Parkland combined with the enormous opportunities available at a world-class institution like the University of Illinois. Plus, your tuition will be based on your Parkland residency rate. Parkland Pathway really is the “best of both worlds.”

At the end of your two years in the program, you are guaranteed a slot into the junior class in your major as long as you have maintained the college GPA for transfer.

Selection for the Pathway program’s 2018-2019 session is starting Feb. 15, and Parkland College is hosting its annual information session on Sunday, Feb. 11  for you to learn more.

If you are a soon-to-graduate high school senior or are a junior who would like more information, please sign up to attend the Parkland Pathway Information Open House, Sunday, Feb. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Student Union on the Parkland campus. In addition to an overall explanation of the program, counselors from each of the UIUC participating colleges will be present with their Parkland College counterpart. Come and get answers to both your Parkland and UIUC questions.

For more information and to RSVP for this event, please click here.

[Mary Kay Smith is a student services advisor in Admissions and Records.]

 

Pathophysiology, the Bridge to Understanding

It’s one thing to know WHAT disease or injury a person suffers from. It’s another thing entirely to understand WHY he or she became sick or injured in the first place.

If you’re studying to be in a Parkland College Health Professions program, or even if you’re already in a health career, you may not yet have made the important connection that fits these two pieces of knowledge together.  In fact, most clinical programs in the U.S. acknowledge a slight disconnect between foundational health career courses and the applied clinical practice. What is needed, they recognize, is a ‘bridge’ of understanding that can answer the question: What has gone wrong within the basic anatomy and physiology of a particular patient to cause the disease or condition that they present with?

With a basic knowledge of pathophysiology, you can come to understand this link and be on your way to delivering better care for your patients.

Pathophysiology (BIO 225) is that bridge; this course describes the underlying disturbances in the basic homeostatic mechanisms that lead to the signs and symptoms of selected diseases. In other words, you can learn to determine what is it that causes the problems associated with congestive heart failure, glomerulonephritis, or a host of other maladies that we humans can get.  

Professor John Moore teaches BIO 225 this summer, and students find that he makes that health education-clinical practice connection lots clearer. One of his students commented:

I have learned some of the same material in my health career classes, but [Professor Moore’s] presentation of the subject matter makes it much more tangible. When he teaches, I get it. I never want to miss any of his classes.”

BIO 225 meets  Mondays and Wednesdays,  1–3:50 p.m., from June 19 to Aug. 10 in Room X104. For more information, visit Parkland College’s summer class schedule or go to the my.parkland student portal.

[Cindy Smith is program manager for Arts and Sciences at Parkland College.]

 

Join the College for Kids Fun!

Make College for Kids a part of your family summer plans!
Looking for that really awesome, one-of-a-kind summer camp experience for your kids? Do you want your child’s summer to be filled with fun activities, new and enriching experiences, and opportunities to make new friends? Look no further – we’ve just described Parkland’s very own College for Kids!

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer enrichment camp for students, ages 8-13 years. For over the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, TV broadcasting to cooking, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on and interactive and put the fun in learning!

We’ve got a lot of new classes this summer that offer tons of fun for your children. They will be learning and challenged at the same time! You child will be able to:

• design an app
• create short animations
• learn Photoshop or design objects
• explore world cultures and art as they learn various forms of
Zumba dancing
• learn to fly a drone with Parkland’s own Jennie Fridgen
• learn to make prints, jewelry, and a 5-course dinner!

Classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and CFK students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides state-of-the-art facilities for classes such as Paint Like the Masters, Pocket Sketching, and Art Rocks, a printmaking class that combines students’ love of art and rock music. Students will be exposed to many of Parkland’s amazing resources, including science and computer labs, the hospitality kitchen, and even the library!

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister.

Registration is open now! CFK will be held Monday through Thursday, June 19 through June 29, and July 10 through 20. Classes are held from 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159, and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

Get Advised Early!

Registrations are coming…avoid the lines!

Did you know that you can see your advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center before registration even begins? Even before our class schedule is released, we can recommend the courses you should take for the next semester. We have a general idea of what is offered during certain semesters and would be glad to get you cleared for registration in advance. (Remember, until a degree-seeking student has earned 30 credit hours at Parkland, he or she must see one of our advisors to be cleared to register for the semester.) 

For continuing Parkland students, summer registration begins the week of March 27 and fall registration begins the week of April 3. You will receive an email from Admissions to your student email account prior to these dates, telling you the exact day and time you can register for summer and fall courses. If you see your advisor before those dates and get cleared for registration, then you will be able to go online when it is your turn and register for your courses.

Counseling and Advising is located in U267; you can also reach us at 217/351-2219. Be prepared to be asked if you are a current student at Parkland. If you are not, then there may be other things you need to do, like placement testing and new student orientation before we can see you. Some departments do their own academic advising, so one of the questions you will be asked when you call or stop by is what your major of study is at Parkland. If you are in a program that we do not advise, then our front desk will give you the contact information of the person you need to see for advising.

Counseling and Advising is doing same-day appointments and advanced appointments through March 23. After that, we will only be doing same-day appointments. To make a same-day appointment, you will need to call or stop by the front desk after 8 a.m. and put your name down for the hour you would like to come in for advising.

[Myriah Benner-Coogan is an academic advisor in Counseling and Advising at Parkland College.]

Why Go On A College Visit? Four Reasons

What’s so valuable about actually visiting Parkland College before you consider attending the school? Here are four good reasons:

  1. You can really visit the campus. Let’s be honest: the pictures you see in brochures are not always an accurate representation of what every part of a campus looks like.  Attending a campus visit allows you to see every part of campus, from the classrooms, to the cafeteria, to the library, and even parking.  You can see for yourself where students like to spend their time between classes, where the computer labs are located, or what clubs you can join.  You will learn so much more than you ever could from a college brochure.
  1. You can get your specific questions answered. What about this particular major?  What’s my financial aid status?  What tutoring opportunities are on campus for me?  Trust us, we have been asked some very interesting questions during campus visits!  Come armed with your list of questions, and we will make sure to answered them before you leave.
  1. You can talk with current students about their experiences. Learn what students like to get involved in, their favorite places to eat in the area, or what some of their favorite electives are.  Talking to Parkland College students is a great way to get honest feedback about the institution.
  1. You can see what campus is like on a regular day. Sure visiting the campus over the summer might be easier since you are on summer break, but the campus has considerably fewer students around then.  This might give you a false sense of what to expect campus life to be like.  Attending a campus visit day allows you to truly see how many students are on campus, how the parking can be, and even how long it might take you to get from one class to another.

Ready to come out for a Campus Visit Day?  RSVP here.

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

Parkland Pathway to the U of I: Is It for You?

You’ve always wanted to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but you find the size of the place huge, the cost seems overwhelming, or perhaps your grades aren’t quite what they need to be. Parkland Pathway to Illinois could be an option for you!

Parkland Pathway is a two-year program where you attend Parkland College for your general education classes but can also take one class a semester at the UIUC. At the end of the two years, you are guaranteed a slot into the junior class in your major as long as you have maintained the college GPA for transfer.

You would get the benefit of small classes with dedicated faculty  from Parkland combined with the enormous opportunities available at a world-class institution like the University of Illinois. Plus, your tuition will be based on your Parkland residency rate. Parkland Pathway really is the “best of both worlds.”

If you are a soon-to-graduate high school senior or are a junior who would like more information, please sign up to attend a special Parkland Pathway Information Open House coming up Sunday, Feb. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. on the Parkland campus. In addition to an overall explanation of the program, counselors from each of the UIUC participating colleges will be present with their Parkland counterpart. Come and get answers to both your Parkland and UIUC questions.

For more information and to RSVP for this event, please click here.

[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

Come out to the Early Bird Enrollment Event

While you may be still snacking on your Halloween candy, we are gearing up for Spring 2017 registration, which opened Monday, Nov. 7 for all students. To help you register for those classes, we are hosting an Early Bird Enrollment Event:

Tuesday–Thursday, November 8, 9, and 10
10 am–2 pm
Registration Central @ Student Union (2nd floor)

Students can:

  • Confirm their academic program, address, and phone number
  • Register for Spring 2017 classes – students with less than 30 hours will need to see an academic advisor prior to registration
  • Set up tuition payment plans ($0 down payment until December if enrolled by Nov. 14; $25 setup fee and 2.7% fee for credit and debit card transactions)
  • Get a free pizza coupon if registered with payment arrangements

View class offerings and make your selection today by visiting parkland.edu/schedules! Once your classes are selected, be sure to make payment arrangements in order to not be dropped from your classes. Tuition due dates are Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Parkland College’s Spring 2017 semester starts Tuesday, Jan. 17. We look forward to having you here!

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

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.***

Open House: Time to Check Out Parkland College

So many exciting things are happening at Parkland this fall, we just have to have an Open House to show the place off!

Friday, October 28 is a perfect time to come and check out Parkland. From noon to 2 pm that day, there will be student services and academic members at tables in the Student Union atrium to explain their programs.

Plus, new this year, the Anatomage and new Earth Science Labs will be open to show what cutting edge tools look like. Anatomage is a digital dissection table that medical schools are beginning to use to train students. The touchscreen monitor provides three different individuals that students can explore in the 3D environment. Meanwhile, the Earth Science lab will feature an augmented reality sandbox (ARS), where students can learn how to read and interpret topographical maps in 3D.

From noon to 3 pm that same day, our Health Professions department is featuring all their programs, both in the L and H wings. The H wing on Mattis Avenue includes our Massage Therapy, Practical Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paramedic, Medical Assisting, Certified Nursing, and Nursing programs. Back at the main campus, the L wing will best suit those students interested in Vet Tech, Dental Hygiene, Radiologic Tech, Surgical Technology, and Respiratory Care. It’s definitely possible to visit both locations in the same day if you are interested in more than one program.

The Open House is a low-stress way of exploring Parkland College, with tours every 20 minutes and plenty of people on hand to answer your questions. In addition, there will be breakout sessions for financial aid, the Parkland Pathway to Illinois, and the first-year experience at Parkland.

You can RSVP for the Open House at right here and let us know you’re coming!

[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

Why Parkland Land Surveying is Top Trainer

If you’re looking for one of the nation’s top land surveying educators, look no further than Parkland College. We recently earned the 2016 NCEES Surveying Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Just 10 universities or technical institutes across the country won this inaugural award, and Parkland was the sole Illinois school earning the distinction.

So what makes our Construction Design Management: Land Surveying program an important choice for those pursuing professional licensure in surveying? I asked 2014 program graduate and Army veteran Jim Harpole, now project manager at JLH Land Surveying Inc. in Plainfield, to share his perspective on that. Here’s what Jim had to say.

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Strong foundation, ideal environment. The Land Surveying AAS program gave me the strong foundation I needed to succeed in my surveying career. Thanks to the wide range of topics and challenging curriculum, I was given an opportunity to experience different survey applications and an insight into the possibilities that a career in land surveying offers. The Parkland College campus is well-suited for the application and practice of land surveying.

Parkland Land Surveying students work on equipment.
Parkland Land Surveying students work on equipment.

Real-world experience. I especially benefited from the many off-campus projects that the program undertakes, projects like creating topographic surveys for the Monticello Railway Museum and establishing the photogrammetric control network for Champaign and Piatt counties. We even did the property boundaries for a few Habitat for Humanity projects in Monticello.

Students in the program also work with various types of software platforms and surveying equipment in current use. The experience that Parkland graduates possess greatly improves their marketability and brings recruiters from all over the Great Lakes region.

Reaching out, giving back. With the average age of licensed surveyors somewhere in the upper 50s, the land surveying profession is currently facing a large age gap, due to both the increase in educational requirements and a lack of public outreach to bring in more young people. The Parkland College Land Surveying program continues to play a vital and leading role in Illinois and the surrounding area by reaching out to high school programs; supporting the Boy Scouts of America by hosting a surveying merit badge; and assisting with logistics and judging for Illinois FFA sectional and state agricultural mechanics competitions, hosted annually on the Parkland campus.

Parkland also works with the University of Illinois’ Engineering program, which accepts CIT 255 Engineering Surveying course credit from Parkland as junior/senior engineering credit.

Helpful faculty and staff. I had such a great experience while at Parkland. Every instructor I had during the two years I spent on campus was always approachable and willing to set aside their time to assist me in understanding the coursework. As a student veteran, I was especially pleased with the service I received from the Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.

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***For more about the Construction Design and Management: Land Surveying AAS degree and certificates visit parkland.edu/academics/departments/est/construction.aspx***

[Todd Horton is program director for the Construction Design and Management programs at Parkland College.]

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 www.parkland.edu/agestopenhouse for more information and to register. Registration is required by September 28.

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: http://www2.parkland.edu/forms/admissionsRSVP/campusvisit.html.

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

Fall Means…FAFSA!

A change is in the air! It’s time for falling leaves, new school supplies, pumpkin spice lattes, and… FAFSA?

That’s right! The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is changing this year. Now you no longer have to wait until January 1 to complete next year’s application (sorry if I’ve ruined your New Year’s Day plans)! Starting October 1, you will be able to complete your FAFSA application for next school year (that’s fall 2017–spring 2018).

And not only can you now do the FAFSA sooner, but it should be easier to do as well.

In the past, the FAFSA has required information about your income from the previous tax year. For example, if you complete the FAFSA for the current school year (fall 2016–spring 2017) you would have needed your income and tax information from 2015. The new FAFSA will require tax information from two years prior. So when you fill out your 2017-2018 FAFSA (on October 1, of course) you will use your income and tax information from two years ago… as it happens, from 2015. The 2017-2018 FAFSA is the only FAFSA that will use the same income information as the prior year’s FAFSA.

Why is this so great? Because hopefully by now, especially if you have already done a 2016-2017 FAFSA, you already have all the 2015 income and tax information you need to complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA. In the past, the new FAFSA became available on January 1, but most applicants weren’t able to finalize the process until they completed their tax returns, generally at least a month or two later. So not only can you start the FAFSA earlier, but you will be much more likely to have all the information needed to complete it in much less time than previously.

Parkland’s Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services would like to encourage all students to fill out the FAFSAs as early as possible. There are a number of great reasons to do so:

  1. Getting your paperwork done early means you’re in less of a rush to complete everything when school is starting and deadlines are looming. Save yourself the stress!
  2. Get a head start on finding out what you qualify for. When you complete a FAFSA, the application provides an estimate of what types and amounts of awards you may be eligible to receive. This can help you plan in advance how to afford college.
  3. Filling out a FAFSA early may qualify you for more financial aid funds. Some financial aid programs, such as Federal Work Study and the Illinois MAP grant, can only be awarded to a portion of the students who are eligible. The students who submit their FAFSAs to Parkland the earliest are more likely to receive these awards.

So take a break from enjoying the changing weather and the thrill of a new semester, and set a reminder to complete your FAFSA on (or as close as possible to) October 1.

Complete the FAFSA online here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

Questions? Contact Parkland’s Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services at 217/351-2222 or visit our webpage.
[Julia Hawthorne is an advisor with Financial Aid and Veteran Services at Parkland College.]

5 Reasons Why Everybody Should Play Guitar

1. It’s one of the world’s most popular instruments. Millions of people play guitar, so you’ll always have a friend to play music with or somebody to help you learn to play a little better.

2. A little guitar goes a long way. Learn how to play a few chords and a basic strum, and you’ll be able to play hundreds of songs.

3. It’s incredibly versatile. Guitar styles range from classical to heavy metal to country to jazz. Almost any music that you enjoy can be played on the guitar.

4. You can progress quickly. You can go from playing just a few chords and scales to more challenging music in a short period of time.

5. It makes you instantly more attractive. Just kidding, but according to the Internet, there might actually be some truth to that!

 

Are you ready to play guitar? MUS 164, Class Guitar, starts September 13 and meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 through December 9. Beginners are welcome, as are more seasoned players who want to improve their playing.

We’ll explore a variety of musical styles from folk to rock to jazz, and build a solid foundation of overall musicianship studying guitar playing technique and music theory.

Register for MUS 164 at my.parkland.edu or contact Admissions at admissions@parkland.edu or 217/351-2482, or visit the Admissions Office in U214.

Young Kim teaches class guitar at Parkland and leads the Parkland Guitar Ensemble.

Parkland, U of Cinti Sign Int’l Transfer Accord

The start of another academic year at Parkland College brings a new crop of international students arriving from all over the globe to begin or continue their studies in the United States. New for fall 2016, Parkland has recently concluded a transfer partnership agreement with the University of Cincinnati specifically for international students.

The UC International Transfer Degree program gives international students the opportunity to begin working towards a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati as soon as they arrive at Parkland College, with the guarantee of future admission and scholarships.

So how does the transfer partnership work?  Any international Parkland student can sign up for the partnership at any point during their studies and receive information about fulfilling the transfer requirements. Although the UC College of Engineering and the Art and Design programs are excluded from the direct-transfer partnership, students can seek transfer into more than 300 different UC academic programs. Once interest is indicated, the student(s) will be contacted by a transfer advisor from the University of Cincinnati, who will advise them in required coursework, regularly check in on students’ progress, and even facilitate a campus visit to UC!

Upon successful completion of the Parkland associate’s degree, the student will then be guaranteed admission to the University of Cincinnati, main campus. What is more, those students will automatically be eligible for a scholarship between $5,000 and $15,000, renewable for three years!

Transfer students from Parkland are also eligible to participate in UC’s Cooperative Education Program, ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. As a part of this program, students have the opportunity to take a paid job for a year as part of their academic program, gaining valuable experience while expanding and completing their education. In addition to positions in Cincinnati and all around the United States, the Cooperative Education Program places students in jobs around the world, including India, Germany, and Chile!

About the UC
Ranking among the top 150 National Universities by U.S. News and World Report, the University of Cincinnati has made clear strides, under Jon Weller, towards increasing its value among international students. More than 3,000 international students from 110 different countries around the globe call UC home.

Cincinnati itself possesses unique international flavor and celebrates a strong German heritage. Restaurants and nightlife drawing inspiration from all around the world are found in downtown, near campus, and along the Ohio River. Major international companies such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric Aviation, and Macy’s are also headquartered around the city.

Be on the lookout for upcoming events for international Parkland College students with the University of Cincinnati!

For more information about events or the UC International Transfer Degree, contact Chris Jackson (cjackson@parkland.edu) or visit the International Admissions Office, U234.

Parkland 13- and 8-Week Classes Still Available

You might have missed out on Parkland’s full semester classes that began August 22, but many classes that start later in the semester are still available.

If you are still considering taking a class, or need to pick up a few more credit hours to graduate on time, here’s what you need to know about late-start classes.

  • For 13-week classes that start the week of September 12, the signup deadline is September 8 for new and continuing, degree-seeking students. Tuition is due September 6 on reserved classes.
  • For 8-week classes that start the week of October 17 (midterm classes), the signup deadline is October 13 for new and continuing, degree-seeking students.  Tuition is due October 11.
  • Most late-start classes are financial aid eligible.
  • Need more time to pay? Our Tuition Payment Plan gives you an easier way to pay for college AND budget your educational expenses. For as little as $25 and 50% down (if you make your payment by September 6), you can extend the payment due on your reserved classes for weeks longer. Sign up online.
  • Check out available late-start class sections in WebAdvisor on my.parkland.edu, in the fall semester class schedule, or on the web.

Please visit Admissions and Records in U214 or email admissions@parkland.edu for help with choosing and registering for classes. No appointment necessary!

We are looking forward to seeing you in class this semester.

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

You CAN DO Home Repair, and Parkland Can Help

For all you women out there (and perhaps a few men) who feel you can’t perform DIY home repair outside of changing a lightbulb, I want to encourage you: You CAN DO it.

I took a plumbing course at Parkland College in 2006 and have saved hundreds of dollars in potential (read: unnecessary) plumbing repairs ever since. It wasn’t easy being the only female (or 40+ year old) in that two-hour evening class. I surely earned the “Most Worn Out” award from cutting, reaming, and soldering pipe after a full day’s work! But I hung in there, learned a lot, and smiled all the way to my A grade. In the end, it was worth it, because that one class has made all the difference in my confidence about home repair.

Ruthie1Since taking the class, I have not only changed supply lines and valves on my home toilets myself, but I’ve also been able to confidently say “no thanks” to plumbers who’ve suggested that I replace entire faucet units when all that was needed to fix the leak was a new washer or packing. Yes, I said plumbers; this has happened more than once over the decade. Such triumphs encouraged me to buy a really good home repair book. I have since fixed non-plumbing-related areas of my home, too, including replacing the springs and cables on my garage door, buying and installing new insulation, and laying flooring.

Now, that’s pretty good savings from a one-semester, affordable class with a schedule that was flexible enough for a young working mother of two.

Look, ladies, if I could do this—someone who doesn’t do physical labor, nature, or bugs all that well—you certainly can. Sign up for Plumbing (CIT 114) or other Building Construction and Repair certificate courses at Parkland, and you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t take a Parkland class, then at least buy yourself (and read) a good home repair guide. You’ll be surprised at just how handy you really are.

Hmm…now that my kids are officially grown-ups, I think it’s time to get more Parkland construction classes under my belt. Perhaps I’ll take Construction Materials (CIT 111) or Rough Carpentry (CIT 115) next.

I bet my husband’s nervous just reading this. He should be. 😉

[Ruthie Counter is a full-time staff writer and part-time communication instructor at Parkland College.]

Budget Tuition Payments with Parkland’s Plan

When students and parents think about paying that college tuition bill, there are not too many alternatives. Quite often, I encounter students telling me that they “do not have the money available right now, but will have some of it in a couple weeks.” (Lots of other Parkland College staff members hear that, too.) When this is the situation, we do offer one pretty helpful solution.

We tell them to take advantage of the Parkland Tuition Payment Plan. Did you even know Parkland had one of those? Yes, we do.

Parkland College partners with a company called Nelnet Business Solutions (NBS) to offer our students a convenient way to pay that tuition bill. In fact, NBS is a tuition-management plan that gives students a low-cost option for budgeting all college expenses.

The Parkland Tuition Payment Plan is not a loan program, and there are no debt or interest charges you have to pay. We don’t even require a credit check for you to join the plan. You can get on our plan with only a $25 fee to start. That’s all. Then, on the fifth of each month, tuition payments automatically come out of the checking/savings account or debit/credit card you’ve set up.

One thing I encourage parents and students to do is to sign up early for the payment plan. The earlier you sign up for a semester, the less money you’ll have to pay up front in installments. For example, if you sign up now for our Fall 2016 classes, you have until June 29 to sign up for the payment plan, and then you would have four monthly payments that occur on the 5th of each month from August through November.

I recently talked with a Parkland student whose tuition bill for the Fall 2016 semester is $2,043. She signed up for our payment plan with her $25 nonrefundable fee, so her payments will look like this:

  • August 5             $510.75
  • September 5     $510.75
  • October 5          $510.75
  • November 5     $510.75

This plan works for her, because she works part time at an area hospital and gets paid every couple of weeks. Now she no longer has to worry about being dropped from her classes for Fall 2016 when tuition is due on August 2. She can just relax, finish out the spring semester, and enjoy her summer.

How about you: Do YOU need help budgeting tuition? Click here to sign up for the Parkland Tuition Payment Plan today.  It’s easy: All you need is your checking/savings account or debit/credit card and a couple of other pieces of information. You might just appreciate this way to pay for college.

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***Enroll in Parkland’s payment plan through Nelnet Business Solutions today and ensure your classes are not dropped. Learn more about the plan at http://www2.parkland.edu/nelnet/.***

[Dave Donsbach serves as controller in the Parkland College Business Office.]

Joining Forces: Business Training, Community Education

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Have you heard? Effective July 1, Parkland College Business Training and Parkland College Community Education will join forces, with the united goal of providing opportunities to transform lives through personal and professional development.

Parkland College Business Training and Community Education is positioned to be a “one-stop” for the community’s various demographics, interests, and needs. Through an array of high-quality, customer-driven programs, the department will provide professional growth, career-enhancing training, workshops, social and travel outings, and personal enrichment opportunities.

Services include workshops for individuals who want to upgrade their job skills or train for a new career; corporate and customized training and consulting for area employers; special programs for the underemployed and unemployed, including the Highway Construction Careers Training Program; the Traffic Safety Program; and enrichment classes for all ages, such as College for Kids, computer skills, health and wellness, home and garden, recreation and leisure, and travel classes.

By joining forces, the new department is positioning itself to be self-sustaining, expanding its team and services, and following best practices for the continuing education industry.  The department’s solid core values allow for collaboration, professionalism, diversity, progress, and excellence in all aspects of day-to-day operations and in the opportunities provided to the community.

If you want to learn specific skills to be more productive in your job, we offer workshops just for you!

Popular business training programs of Interest:

For a full list of workshops for your personal and professional interest, check out www.parkland.edu/businesstraining or call 217/351-2235.

“Try Online!” Series: The Fundamentals of Nutrition

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, taught by Associate Professor Toni Burkhalter, Parkland’s 2016 Teaching Excellence Award winner.

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Summer is an excellent time to learn something new at an accelerated pace that you can immediately put into practice with support from an online community. Whether your goal is to become healthier or merely to investigate foods in a new way, BIO 120, The Fundamentals of Nutrition, may be worth checking out.

I have a passion for teaching nutrition; very few classes impact a person on a daily basis in such a pronounced way.

As lead instructor for BIO 120, I choose experts in the field to partner and teach with me so we can share accurate information in the field of nutrition. Our students have been an eclectic group of eager learners from across the globe. They are often a mix of practicing nurses sharing their experiences in the field, college students earning a life science credit, high school students anxiously taking their first college course, or seasoned community members wanting to set up a solid foundation of nutrition for their own benefit. Although students enroll in the course for a variety of reasons, most walk away achieving their goals from it, with us by their side.

What to expect
Because students are able to learn BIO 120 course material in various ways, the course appeals to different learning styles. It features 10 modules, each focusing on a different aspect of nutrition. For example, one of the modules, titled “Carbohydrates,” touches on sugars, starch, fiber, glycogen, and the impact of carbohydrates on diabetes. Within this module, students are encouraged to read one chapter from the textbook, watch a short video created specifically for the course, and interact with the module’s PowerPoint.

I assess students’ knowledge of a module by having them complete a discussion, an application-based assignment, and a module quiz. In addition to module work, students have a midterm project in which they reflect on personal dietary choices, a capstone calculation quiz, and a comprehensive final exam. The capstone calculation quiz covers nutrition calculations that were covered throughout the semester; for example, students may be asked to calculate the percentage of calories from fat in a given meal.

All assessments are completed online.

About the instructor: Over the past 14 years, Toni Burkhalter has taught classes that focus on the effects of nutrition and exercise on the body. She continues to keep abreast of the subject by attending conferences, engaging in experiential learning through her sabbatical, and returning to school whenever possible. Often, Toni is taking additional graduate classes at the University of Illinois while teaching full time at Parkland. Toni loves academics and the topics she teaches.

***BIO 120: Offered June 13-Aug 4 and Aug 22-Dec 9. Register online today for either section.***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

Thinking College? Club Latino Students Share Some Keys to Success

What are three key ingredients for success at Parkland College for Latino students?

The students themselves would probably tell you that: 1) family/friend support, 2) affordability, and 3) information is the trio to beat.

I recently sat down with members of Club Latino, one of the longest-running and most active student clubs at Parkland, for a Q&A session. These students come from various cities (Rantoul, Arcola, Tuscola, Decatur, and C-U) and are pursuing a wide range of majors (music therapy and neurology, psychology, computer science, criminal justice, surgical technology, Spanish, and sociology). Most of the Club Latino students work 30-40 hours a week as well as take classes, attend Club Latino meetings (free pizza!), and do volunteer/service work with the club.

As we chatted about their Parkland experiences and what has kept them motivated to learn, they also shared with me what they would like future Parkland students of Latino heritage to understand about college before they begin their journeys here.

What keeps you going?
  • My mom. She is so encouraging.
  • Support for our families; we don’t want to let them down.
  • We are hard workers—it’s in our blood.
  • We need a better future for ourselves.
  • I have goals—I want to achieve them.
  • I am a nursing major, and I’m getting closer to my goal of helping people.
How do you balance work and school?
  • It has not been easy. There are days I dedicate to school and days I dedicate to work.
  • I consider my Club Latino time my hangout time.
What made you decide to come to Parkland? Why is this place special?
  • I worked with my mom in a factory for two years. I saw how tired she was after working 60-hour weeks, and I knew I didn’t want to do that forever.
  • Parkland’s tuition is more affordable than other schools, and it’s closer to home.
  • Parkland feels safe to me. The environment is friendly and I don’t ever feel fear. I feel like it’s my home.
  • It’s a great place to start… a stepping stone.
  • I still don’t know what I want to do, but I will figure it out at Parkland.
How does campus involvement in Club Latino benefit you?
  • How important is it to be involved in college? 101% important. Students struggle with work and school, but being involved helps you realize how much more college has to offer and how worthwhile it is.
  • You’re also learning leadership skills, teamwork skills, accounting, planning. When you experience other things, you start to have a broader perspective.
  • I’ve met a lot of new people from new areas and made new friends.
  • It makes you more responsible because you see other people being responsible.
  • I never had much Latino culture growing up, so being in Club Latino connects me to my heritage.
  • We try to motivate younger Latinos to set goals and go to college. We do outreach to high schools.
What would you want a younger brother or sister to know about starting college?
  • Applying to college is not as hard as you think. When I first came to Parkland, I talked to Financial Aid and figured out how to pay for college. It seems like a lot of steps, but once you’re in, the only struggle is then getting through classes. Once you’re here, there are a lot of people to help you out.
  • Get started early for fall. Don’t wait. Fill out the FAFSA and use last year’s information. You want to be one of the first people to apply. You have to be persistent.
  • I think it’s important to find that support system before you come, and then once you’re here, find it here.
  • You don’t have to know what to major in before you come to school. The general requirements apply to a lot of majors, so none of it is wasted time.

    Thanks to Club Latino members who shared their meeting time with me: Kellyn, Jesus, Bree, Karina, Yulibeth, Chaz, Joey, Jennifer, and Lisette.

[Hilary Valentine is the marketing analyst for Parkland’s Marketing and Public Relations department.]

 

“Try Online!” Series: Introduction to Finance

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BUS 264 , Introduction to Finance, taught by instructor Bob Meyer.

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Introduction to Finance (BUS 264)
 transfers to the University of Illinois as FIN 221, Corporate Finance. I have worked for years to make sure that this course is equivalent to what is taught at most major universities.

But rather than sitting in a lecture hall with several hundred students, Parkland College students in BUS 264 enjoy much smaller class sizes, where they learn about investing, the time value of money, and how to evaluate whether a project is economically feasible.

What to Expect
This course is spread over 13 weeks to give you plenty of time to learn the material. You’ll have many assignments including an Aplia homework manager, but the course offers flexibility on due dates. Some of the work will be group or team work, and the groups typically interact over the Internet. Typically, half of the class comprises out-of-state students, and a tenth of the class lives out of the country.

BUS 264 includes two tests and a stock project. You may take your tests at Parkland or at approved proctor sites.

About the instructor: Bob Meyer has taught five sections of BUS 264 each year for the past 25 years. He has also taught at the University of Illinois’ Finance department, in both its undergraduate and graduate finance programs. He has owned a business and has been an insurance agent and a stock securities agent. He enjoys finance as well as teaching this course.

***BUS 264: Offered June 13–Aug 4 and Sep 12–Dec 9. Register online today for either section (but these sections fill fast!).***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

Campus Visit Day: Info, Tours, Free Swag, Oh My!

Seniors, still undecided on where to attend? Juniors, want to get a head start on your college planning? Here are our Top 10 reasons to attend Parkland’s Campus Visit Day on April 1.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend Parkland’s Campus Visit Day

1. Speak to students who are currently attending Parkland. Get an idea of campus life, student clubs and organizations, workload, and more.

2. Find out how to finance college through scholarships, grants, and loans. Seniors, fill out the FAFSA while you are here.

3. Tour campus! Get a better view of what Parkland College is all about through a general tour of campus. See our classrooms, cafeteria, bookstore, labs, art gallery, and more.

4. Interested in Parkland Pathway Program to Illinois? Come find out important dates, deadlines, and majors.

5. Interested in fixing cars or working on computers? Maybe helping patients is more your style? Learn about Parkland majors, including selective health professions programs.

6. Worried about the price of college? Find out how much it is going to cost you to attend Parkland as well as residency information.

7. Afraid of falling behind in class? We have you covered! Learn about support services on campus such as FREE tutoring, Writing Lab, and Presentation Lab.

8. Meet one-on-one with an Admissions advisor to get all of your specific questions answered!

9. Free swag! Come to visit day and get a free Parkland College water bottle and other goodies!

10. Apply to be a student. Visit our Application Station and complete an application on site!

Ready to visit? RSVP here.

 

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

Seniors, Stop by to “Preview” this College!

Seniors, there are only three months left until you’re done with high school. Are you ready for college? We want to help you organize your plans at the Parkland Preview this Friday, March 11:

  • When you register for the event, tell us what major you are interested in, and we’ll set you up with instructors from those areas.
  • Totally unsure of what you would like to do?  Take a free career assessment so that we can help you find a starting point.
  • If you have already applied to Parkland, that’s great, you’ll have a chance to tour campus and get your questions answered.
  • Not sure if Parkland is the right place?  Meet some of the students during the first-year experience panel and make your own impressions.

This is your opportunity to explore college and Parkland in particular so that you can figure out if it’s the right place to start your college career. The Parkland Preview will be from noon to 2 pm in the Parkland Student Union this Friday, March 11.  Come with friends, bring your parents, or come on your own to get those questions answered.

You can register for the Parkland Preview right here!
[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

 

Aviation School, Republic Airways Sign Accord

Earning your flight credentials through Parkland College now guarantees you an employment interview with a major regional airline carrier.

To help resupply American air carriers with well-trained pilots, the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College is pleased to announce the signing of a guaranteed interview agreement with Republic Airways.

“For years, many aviation experts have warned of an impending shortage of pilots for airlines as current pilots reach retirement age,” said Sybil Phillips, director of the Institute of Aviation. “To satisfy the demand for pilots, the major airlines often draw from regional carriers like Republic Airways, who then must redouble their efforts to find qualified pilots. The Institute of Aviation feels well-positioned to address these needs.”

Jody Scott, Republic Airways’s director of talent acquisition, said schools like Parkland have been a reliable source for well-qualified pilots. “We are pleased to enter into an extended partnership with the Institute of Aviation, where we will guarantee interviews for the college’s exceptional graduates.”

Republic Airways is a partner with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and other major brands and employs about 6,000 aviation professionals across the country. Several Institute of Aviation alumni count among the carrier’s pilot ranks, Scott said.

“In fact, in a recent application process for a recruitment leadership role, nearly a dozen graduates from the program stepped up to put their name in the hat,” she said. “The reputation these men and women have within our company is a big reason we hope to continue hiring institute students.”

“The Institute of Aviation’s high standards of academic achievement, airmanship, and character are valued and respected by employers worldwide,” said Wendy Evans, recruiter for Parkland’s aviation institute. “This reputation and the alumni network aid in securing quality employment as graduates build time toward higher pilot certificates as they pursue careers in aviation.”

Founded more than 40 years ago as the small turboprop commuter Chautauqua Airlines in Jamestown, N.Y., Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings has grown into one of the nation’s largest regional carriers, with more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue, a fleet of about 200 aircraft and approximately 1,000 scheduled daily flights to 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.  Republic Airways Holdings owns Republic Airways and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines operate fixed-fee flights under major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express.

With a livery of mainly Embraer 170s and 175s, Republic Airways is the world’s largest operator of Embraer aircraft. For more information, visit www.rjet.com or follow the company on Facebook,  LinkedIn, and Twitter.

[Wendy Evans is the aviation recruiter for the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.]

 

Campus Visit Day: There’s Still Time to Sign Up!

Some high school students find that sitting down and speaking with a college admissions advisor well before College Day One makes them better prepared to navigate the college experience. Touring the college’s campus doesn’t hurt, either.

This Monday, Parkland College will hold sessions that allow area students to see if this community college is a good fit for them.

Our first spring Campus Visit Day of 2016 will include the aforementioned opportunities and more:

  • an overview of how to apply to Parkland, sign up for financial aid, and select among its many academic programs
  • opportunity to learn more about Parkland’s Health Professions and the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program
  • a guided tour of campus
  • ability to apply on the spot for the summer and fall 2016 semesters at our Application Station
  • opportunity to speak one-on-one with admissions counselors to answer other questions.

Campus Visit Day events will begin at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Parkland schedules two Campus Visit Days each spring; the second will occur April 1.

You can still reserve a visit for Monday’s Campus Visit Day! Just go to www.parkland.edu/getStarted/visit or email admissions@parkland.edu. For more information, call Parkland College Admissions at 217/351-2509.

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

Parkland: An International Campus

Did you know Parkland College has the most international students of any community college in the state of Illinois? In educational terms, “international student” refers to those students who study in the United States on visas. Currently, more than 300 visa students study at Parkland College!

 

However, Parkland is far more international than that. Loads of Parkland students not studying with visas come from all over the world. Many were born here in Champaign-Urbana to immigrant families or moved here with their families at a young age. Surprising to many, Champaign-Urbana is one of the most international cities in the region. Between the large numbers drawn by the University of Illinois, familial ties, and the cities’ refugee-friendly reputation, thousands of families have found their way to C-U.

So where do Parkland College international students come from? They, too, come from all over: Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Cameroon, Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Armenia, Angola, DR Congo, China, France, Brazil, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Liberia, Kenya, Albania, Australia, Venezuela, Japan, Israel, Canada, Mali, South Africa, Portugal, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, The Philippines, Colombia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Mexico, Algeria, and Indonesia.

International students come to Parkland for a number of reasons, but one of the major ones is the English as a Second Language or ESL program that the college offers. While most universities require a certain score on an English exam for admission, an international student can come to Parkland without English proficiency and take ESL. The ESL program prepares students for academic and career English, rather than basic English conversation skills they might learn in an English class in their home country. Students from the ESL program have gone on to earn degrees from Parkland and then transfer to universities all around the country, to study a variety of fields.

Today, English is considered to be one of the global languages of business. Foreign students who learn English AND study a specific subject at Parkland College are in a position to stand out in an increasingly global economy. On the other side, American students can learn a great deal and gain new perspective from their international peers.

Find out more about Parkland  College’s opportunities for  its international students by visiting our International Center. Students from countries outside the U.S. can find out about applying to Parkland here. Join an inspiring community of global citizens, learning together!

[Chris Jackson is an international admissions advisor for Parkland Admissions and Records.]

Parkland Pathway to Illinois Open House: Learn More

One year ago I wrote a blog about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program, and we saw a surge in applications to the program. But it is not surprising.

The opportunity to get access to Parkland’s award-winning faculty, small class sizes and resources, all while being able to live on the University of Illinois campus, receive advising from both campuses, PLUS have guaranteed admission makes this program an easy choice!

Parkland’s beautiful Student Union will host the Parkland Pathway Informational Open House Sunday, February 21, from 2 to 4pm. We invite attendees to attend an informational presentation (given every 30 minutes beginning at 2pm) and talk with Parkland and University of Illinois representatives in regards to their majors and services offered. Current Pathway students will also be on hand to provide additional insight into the program.

How to Apply
Two separate groups of steps let a student apply to the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. The first is for high school seniors to first apply to Parkland College in a transfer program (they will have to reapply even if they took dual credit courses in high school). They can apply by clicking here and can find a list of transfer degree programs here. Once they are admitted to Parkland College, students then schedule an assessment test (make sure to identify yourself as a Parkland Pathway applicant when calling the Assessment Center). This test, used for Parkland course scheduling purposes, must be completed by May 1.

The second group of steps begins February 15, which is the day that the University of Illinois Parkland Pathway to Illinois application opens. High school seniors would create their myillini.illinois.edu account and apply to the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. To apply, students must have the following:
– Access to their high school courses and grades
– SAT and/or ACT scores sent electronically to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
– 300-word (max.) essay related to their interest in the major they wish to study at the University of Illinois (a full list of undergraduate majors is available here)
– Any other items required.

Once all parts of the University of Illinois application have been received, Pathway applicants will be reviewed for admission.

Questions about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program can be directed to Mary Kay Smith, Parkland College Admissions and Records, 217/351-2509 or Holly Herrera, University of Illinois, holly10@illinois.edu.

13- and 8-Week Sessions Available for Spring 2016

[**For a quick list of classes that still have seats available, click HERE.**]

Parkland’s full semester began January 11, but there are many classes that start later in the semester. If you are still considering taking a class, or need to pick up a few more credit hours to graduate on time, here’s what you need to know about late-start classes.

  • For classes that start the week of February 1, the signup deadlines are January 26 for new, degree-seeking students and January 28 for all other students (current Parkland students, non-degree seeking students, University of Illinois students).
  • For classes that start the week of March 7 (midterm classes), the signup deadlines are March 1 for new, degree-seeking students and March 3 for all other students.
  • Tuition payment or payment arrangements are due at the time of enrollment. Most late-start classes are financial aid eligible.  Tuition is due January 26 for February classes and March 1 for March-start classes.

Please visit Admissions and Records in U214 for help with choosing and registering for classes. No appointment necessary!

We are looking forward to seeing you in class this semester.

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

New Year, New FAFSA to Complete!

That’s right, the 2016-2017 FAFSA is now available! For those attending college during the 2016-2017 award year, be sure to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.

Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application is quick and easy to complete. Make sure you complete the 2016- 2017 FAFSA and not the 2015-2016 form if you are applying for financial aid for next year (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017).

Plus, check out this US Dept. of Education blog post to avoid common FAFSA mistakes before you file!

For more information about the financial aid process, please email our office at finaid@parkland.edu or visit the SALT website at www.saltmoney.org.  SALT also provides helpful information and resources for searching for scholarships to supplement your financial aid award.

What Is SALT?
SALT is a website created by American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit organization, to help Parkland College students like you become more financially savvy. This program rewards you for making smart money decisions, and we’re providing all of its services to you—including your membership—as a gift, free of charge. Create your SALT account at www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege today!

**Top image from “7 Common FAFSA Mistakes” at http://blog.ed.gov/2014/01/7-common-fafsa-mistakes/**

[Dawn Good is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

Collision Repair Q & A

The Collision Repair program at Parkland College received a lot of attention when they moved into the beautiful, state-of-the-art Parkhill Applied Technology Center facilities, but I hadn’t been back into that space much in the last two years.

I visited with instructor Chris Stephens about the programs being offered there, and was intrigued to learn more about the discipline and opportunities.

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Collision Repair instructors Dan Swann, left, and Chris Stephens, right

Q: What classes make up the Collision Repair curriculum?

A: Students enrolling can expect to take career-specific classes in the first semester. Those include dent repair, estimating, and glass trim and hardware. Those are prerequisites to other classes like automotive refinishing, structural repair, custom refinishing (using the airbrush), and custom upholstery. Students also take core classes in math, English, and speech.

Q: What is the job outlook like for Collision Repair students?

A: The students who want to work can almost guarantee themselves a job. Shops and insurance companies call us all the time for our best students. When bad weather hits, shops need help due to fender-benders and other damage as a result of the weather, and insurance companies need estimators. Most students don’t realize they might start as an estimator making $30-45,000 with the possibility to grow to $80,000. In a collision repair shop, they may start out at $10 per hour prepping parts, but as their skill level increases, they can make well over $20 per hour.

Q: What kind of student does well in Collision Repair?

A: People who do the best are those who know how to use tools or have the drive to finish something they start. They have a good work ethic and good eye-hand coordination. We often see people who are stuck in a “filler job,” working at something they don’t want to do long term. Collision repair is a great career choice, and many take classes while they work part or even full time to pay the bills.

Q: Talk about the Collision Repair facilities.

A: We have a state-of-the-art space in the Parkhill Applied Technology Center here at Parkland. We train students for the workplace setting, so we have top-notch paint booths and frame machines. Our measuring systems use computer-guided technology, one with an articulating arm and the other with lasers for precise measurements. We purchased the same type of equipment used in local shops so when students are employed they will already be familiar with these types of systems. Our bumper repair includes a nitrogen plastic welder, which is newer technology that insurance companies are requiring of shops to stay up to date.

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A vehicle awaits its paint job.

Q: What is the most popular aspect of the program among students?

A: Students are always anxious to start refinishing in the paint booth. That’s a fun part of the curriculum for many.

Q: How does someone get started in Collision Repair?

A: We have a new program starting in the spring semester, so students don’t have to wait to get started on a new career path. Visit our website and contact our program manager, David Anderson at est@parkland.edu.

Go Ahead, Go Global!

Global Cultural Competence (HCS 236-201) is an exciting new course being offered at Parkland College in the spring! It promises to be a fun course in which to learn about other cultures from around the world.

There is increasing need in the US to develop better global cultural competence so that citizens work and communicate effectively with people from around the world, especially in the workplace.

cherry-blossom-9110754This course will feature interactive learning projects that engage students in learning about global cultures and developing effective cross-cultural communication skills for the workplace.

Course curriculum is designed for Health Professions, Criminal Justice, and Education majors but is open to all students.

The course will be taught by Michele Spading.  It is a two-hour, hybrid, late-start course that meets Mondays, 3-4:50 p.m.

HCS 236-201 is part of a project sponsored by the Center for Global Studies at UIUC, through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC program.

5 Observations from a College Recruiter

Life on the road can be fun (and exhausting) for a college recruiter.

My goal is to share the good word about the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College. Building a following takes time, and travel this fall has sent me in every direction in Illinois, and from Wisconsin and Missouri to Ohio and Indiana to Kentucky and back. I’ve put miles on my vehicle, passing the time singing to every Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift song I hear (yes, I admit I sing along, but it’s not my fault; they write catchy tunes).

I’ve noticed something interesting during these travels: While the venues change from day to day, the faces and questions remain similar. Wherever the road takes me, regardless of the state, I’ve come across homogeneity in prospective students and their families.

Based on my observations of these similarities, I’ll share five tips with you about college recruitment fairs (just in case you plan to attend one any time soon).

Observation 1: College fairs are a family affair

Dad with student, Mom picking up materials, grandparents along for the ride, and an older sibling explaining how it works: Let’s face it, college is a huge decision, and having the support of family plays an important role in a student’s college choice. I’ve seen overwhelming support from family members as they ask their student, “what do you want to do?” Refreshing, in my eyes.

Observation 2: Don’t be afraid

Without the push of family or friends, many students are afraid to talk to a recruiter. We don’t bite (well, at least not students)! Your first step to becoming independent is being able to speak for yourself, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, college will be a series of these types of interactions. Remember, I’m there to help you complete the picture you have painted in your mind about a school or program. I am real-life person standing in front of you—please come talk to me!

Observation 3: Do your homework

It’s not every day that you have 40, 50, or 300 schools all in one place and at your fingertips! Before accepting this great opportunity, then, you need to do a little homework. If your passion is aviation, then make sure you talk to all the aviation programs that are present. Prepare some standard questions you can readily ask each of them. This will give you a baseline for comparing programs and will help you make the most of your time while at the fair.

Observation 4: Don’t get stuck on the names

Students are stuck on the popularity of names. For example, they will spend several minutes waiting to talk to an institution’s rep just because they know them by name, even though they may have little to no interest attending in the school as a whole. “But it’s the flagship!” you might reply. Perhaps, but that is still no reason to attend a particular school; there has to be more intrinsic value for you than that.

Observation 5: Explore where you can thrive

I firmly believe you should throw rankings and popularity of names out the window and explore schools that will allow you to thrive not just as a student, but also as an individual. College is about coming into your own and becoming the best you can be. Find the school that can challenge you, allow you to be you, and reward you for your efforts. It is hard to describe, but there is a level of comfort you should feel when you step onto a campus or inside a department. School rankings can’t get you your dream career; while they may crack open a door for you, only YOU can walk through that door. Opportunity is everywhere, so find a place where you can thrive.

[Wendy Evans is the recruiter for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation.]

Health Professions Annual Open House

The folks in Parkland Health Professions are getting excited for our annual Open House this Friday!

Since November 13 is only days away, we’ve been checking things twice: Do we have enough flyers? Balloons? Tablecloths?  After all, this is a celebration of sorts, a time to share our excitement and enthusiasm about the great professions we have chosen.

Health Professions’ program directors, faculty, and best of all—our students—will be here Friday ready to greet you and other prospective students wondering if a health career is in their future.

Won’t you join us?

We offer so many options at Parkland—from one-semester programs leading to a career as a Certified Nurse Assistant or Emergency Medical Technician to full two-year Associate degree programs in Dental Hygiene, Massage Therapy, Registered Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, Surgical Technology, Emergency Medical Services–Paramedic, or Veterinary Technician. Does your time and finances only allow a year of schooling to obtain a professional health-career certification? We offer one-year certificate programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Office Assisting, Massage Therapy, and Emergency Medical Services.

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Do you already have a degree or certificate and are just looking for a way to use your current skills and build on them?  We even offer “bridge” opportunities to help you, such as our Paramedic to RN bridge and LPN to RN bridge programs.

Start small, think big! The future is limitless. Our two-year degree programs transfer well to four-year schools for students who want to pursue a baccalaureate degree and beyond. The healthcare industry continues to experience strong employment growth that is anticipated to continue for many more years; our is one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the country.

So come as you are, stop in, and find out more at our Open House on November 13 from noon to 3 pm.  We’ll have information at both our main campus and at the H wing on Mattis Avenue.  At H wing, you can watch students working in our simulation lab; meanwhile, at the main campus, you can check out the Surg Tech students practicing in their very own operating room. Ask questions about each program and speak to the faculty and students for firsthand experience!

Spring 2016 Advising, Registration Have Begun!

Open registration for the Parkland College Spring Semester 2016 is now officially underway! All degree-seeking students who have earned less than 30 credit hours are required to be advised before they can register for classes. Please note that earned credit hours do not include hours in which students are currently enrolled.

Additionally, all students on academic probation, returning from academic suspension, returning from academic dismissal, and enrolled in certain programs are also required to be advised before registering regardless of hours earned.

Some general academic advising guidelines:

  1. If you are enrolled in or enrolling in CCS 098, see a Student Development Advocate in the Center for Academic Success (CAS) in D120.
  2. If you are enrolled in an AAS or certificate career program, you should consult your faculty program advisor or department chair. In many programs, your advising will be done right through your department! If not, see an advisor in the Counseling and Advising Center in U267 or an advisor in CAS.
  3. Certain departments or academic areas generally advise all their students. This includes the Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) Department, the Engineering Science and Technologies (EST) Department, the Division of Health Professions ( for students who are actually in or have been accepted to one of their programs), and new for the Spring 2016 semester, the Fine and Applied Arts (FAA) Department.
  4. Most transfer students should seek advising from the Counseling and Advising Center or from the academic advisor in CAS. Some exceptions to this would be FAA majors and Agriculture majors, who should contact their program directors.
  5. New degree-seeking students will receive their advising after attending a Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) session.
  6. Students not seeking a degree or certificate and most students who are in good standing and have earned at least 30 hours of credit are not required to be advised. Students in Health Professions programs must see a faculty program advisor regardless of the number of credit hours they have earned.

NOW is the time to get advised so that you can enroll early on and have the best chance for getting the classes and the kind of schedule you desire. There is a short window in November, December and the very beginning of January to register, so don’t delay! Please note that thousands of students will be seeking academic advising during this period. Waits may be common at certain times of the day and on certain days. Your patience and civility during this challenging time will be appreciated.

Again, no matter what — do not wait until the last minute!

Transfer Planning

Planning to transfer to another college or university next fall? It is important to make sure that you are taking the proper courses to transfer to the program you wish and to know when you should be applying. The professionals in the Counseling and Advising Center will be happy to assist with your transfer planning.

Upcoming Events

Students who plan to attend Parkland in 2016 can learn more about the college at the annual Student/Parent Information Night (SPIN) this coming Thursday evening, November 5, starting at 6:00 p.m. until 7:35 p.m. in the Student Union. Click here for further information and for SPIN registration instructions.

On Friday, November 13, Parkland will host its campus-wide Fall Open House from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the Student Union. That same day, we will also hold a Health Professions Open House from noon until 3:00 p.m. in the L wing on the main campus and the H wing (Health Professions on Mattis —1309 N. Mattis Avenue).

 

[John Sheahan is director of the Parkland College Counseling and Advising Center.]

H.S. Students, Parents: Scholarship, Info at SPIN!

High school students: Want to win a $250 Scholarship?

Register to win one next Thursday at our annual Parkland College Student/Parent Information Night (SPIN)!

Student/Parent Information Night
Thursday, November 5
6-7:30 p.m.
Student Union

Designed for high school students and their parents, you’ll get lots of information on:

  • How to Apply to Parkland
  • Paying for College
  • Health Professions and Other Academic Programs
  • Parkland Pathway to Illinois
  • PLUS, representatives from Disability Services, Student Life, Financial Aid, First Year Experience, Dual Credit, and TRiO will be on hand to answer your questions.

Ask current Parkland students your questions and register to win a $250 scholarship!

Want more information or have questions? Contact Sarah Hartman at sjhartman@parkland.edu or 217/353-2002.

Ready to sign up for SPIN?  RSVP here:

 

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

5 Reasons to Attend Parkland’s Open House

The Campus-wide Fall Open House is scheduled for Friday, November 13 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in Parkland’s Student Union. Here are five reasons you should check it out:

  1. Get a tour of campus led by Student Ambassadors.
  2. See open labs for many of the Health Careers (rare). Check out the H and L wings from noon to 3 p.m. for their events.
  3. Attend breakout sessions on financial aid or Parkland Pathway to Illinois.
  4. Visit with someone from your academic major to find out what the classes will be like.
  5. Learn about resources to help you succeed in college.

For more information, contact admissions@parkland.edu or call 217/351-2482. No RSVP required.

 

[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

 

Worried about losing your MAP Grant? Apply now for scholarships!

Have you heard? Your financial aid this spring may be less than you expect.

The Illinois Assistance Commission (ISAC), which administers the Monetary Award Program (MAP), has notified all Illinois colleges and universities that due to the uncertainty of the state budget, spring 2016 MAP awards will be delayed until the state budget is approved. This means that your spring 2016 MAP award will be changed to “estimated aid” at this time and will not be applied to any account balance you may incur while registering for spring classes. As a result, your financial aid refund may be less than anticipated.

If state budget does fund MAP awards and you are owed more in a refund, you will receive it after the state budget is approved. Should the state not include MAP awards in the budget, you will be responsible for any balance owed on your account.

The idea of having your financial aid reduced is a pretty stressful one. What can you do? One potential way to offset this possible reduction is to apply for scholarships. Even if you don’t receive the MAP award, applying for scholarships is always a great resource to help fund your education.

NOW is the time to apply for spring scholarships. The Parkland College Foundation is currently offering approximately 70 scholarships for the spring semester. November 15 is the deadline for a majority of these scholarships, but scholarships are posted throughout the academic year.  The funds are there … just waiting for the right student to apply.

Parkland students have access to the scholarship search feature in their student portal at my.parkland.edu. By logging in to the portal and selecting “Scholarship Search” under the Student Services tab, you will be directed to a listing of all scholarships that are currently available. By selecting “eligible scholarships” from the drop down menu, you will also find a list that is more customized based on available scholarship criteria. The search feature is an excellent resource to find scholarships funded by the Parkland College Foundation. In addition, any scholarship information provided by external organizations is posted as well.

Most scholarship applications require you to write an essay … don’t be intimidated! The Center for Academic Success at Parkland offers a Writing Lab in D120 that is open and available to all students. You can receive free help from English instructors with any writing project you might have. For more information you can visit D120 or log in to the student portal, my.parkland.edu.

There are also many reputable online resources for scholarships as well such as Fastweb (http://www.fastweb.com/), CollegeBoard (http://www.collegeboard.org/), and the Federal Student Aid Gateway (http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/). Keep in mind, that most reputable scholarship organizations do not ask you to pay a fee to apply.

[Tim Wendt is Parkland’s director of enrollment services.]

Midterm-Start Classes: Squeeze in One More!

For some Parkland College and University of Illinois students, October means a bit more than the change to fall Illinois weather and start of the countdown to a new year. Fall also brings a significant benchmark for the current semester – midterm – a time for reflection and examination of academic goals and progress.

Were you aware that Parkland offers a good selection of midterm-start classes? Think full credit, in half the time. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about taking an October-start class:

  • Are your reading and writing skills solid?
  • Are you able to work in a fast-paced environment?
  • Will you able to budget your time to successfully complete the class?
  • Do you have sufficient time and motivation to fulfill class requirements?

If your answer to these questions is yes, or if perhaps you are successfully completing your fall 2015 classes and want to “squeeze in” one more, you might be a good candidate to try an October-start class.

Midterm classes come in a variety of formats:  online, hybrid, morning, afternoon and evening. Classes range from general education courses (for both Parkland and University of Illinois students!) such as Art Appreciation, United States History, and Environmental Biology to courses like Introduction to Business and Weight Training.

Classes begin the week of October 19, so the time to get started on this is NOW!

Current Parkland students may wish to consult with someone in the Counseling and Advising Center (U276) prior to enrolling. Or … if ready to enroll, go to my.parkland.edu.

Current University of Illinois students who want more information about midterm-start courses can call Parkland College Admissions at 217/351-2482.

New degree-seeking students have a registration deadline of Tuesday, October 13. The last day to register for all other students is Thursday, October 15.

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.]

No Panic Necessary for Lack in Computer Skills

You’re a fairly computer savvy thirty-something. The phone rings. It’s your mother, and it’s the same panic again:

“IthoughtIsavedtheletterI’dwrittenbutnowit’sgoneandIcan’tfinditanywhere.WhatdidIdowrong?
Can you help? Please?!”

Can you help her? Yes, you can. You can recommend classes that will make her feel more confident and competent and that will allow her to enjoy working with the computer. Panic controlled.

Parkland College Community Education offers computer courses for skill building at three levels. Jane Bateman, our experienced and patient instructor, leads participants step by step toward an easier connection with the technology and its advantages.

  • Beginner, Beginner Computers starts with the basics. Learn efficient use of the mouse and important terminology.
  • Beginner Computers is for those who have a nodding acquaintance with a computer. Learn skills to increase your comfort level.
  • Intermediate Computers goes beyond computer basics. Learn how to navigate using various computer programs and the benefits of all they can do.
  • Computer File Management shows there are very efficient ways to format and organize computer files. Learn the best practices, and start getting information and documents in order for quick and easy access.
  • You’ve Got Mail: An Introduction to Using Email and the Internet gets you comfortable with the ins and outs of managing email and shows you how to search for information on the Internet and download pictures (intermediate-level computing skills required).

Former students have gained useful information from these classes, and our instructor always gets good grades. In fact, many of our older students rave about Jane’s warm and helpful manner:

“Great instructor.”
“Helpful and willing to work with all levels of ability.”
“…personable and helpful.”
“Keep Jane!”

Perhaps neither age nor experience is the issue; maybe work and life haven’t required a computer or only minimal work with one. Maybe an employer had a system that was new in 1992 and now, with plenty of time on your hands, you would like to upgrade to 2015-2016 and beyond. These classes will boost your skills, too.

Begin at the appropriate level. Figure out what else you need to know, and we can most likely find a way to teach you.

And… after these five classes, you can call your mother, just to chat.

 

[John Eby is program manager for Parkland Community Education.]

Five Common Banking Misconceptions

Banking and banks have been around for centuries, yet most of us know very little about how banking works. Check out these five common fallacies about today’s banking system from Jim Smith, a local bank manager and one of Business and Agri-Industries’ newest part-time instructors.

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Here are five common misconceptions about banking:

  1. Banks are insured by the federal government.

While bank deposits are insured by FDIC, which stands for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, some banks are not. Banks pay a premium to be insured by the FDIC, just like any other insured entity.

  1. Banks lend out customer deposits.

Banking hasn’t worked this way for a long time. Banks make adjustments to balance sheets, assets, and liabilities, essentially lending out money from the very loans they issue.

  1. Banks have lots of cash in their vaults.

The total physical US currency supply is about 1.2 trillion dollars, and only about a third of that is in the US. Most banks keep relatively little cash on hand and prefer to handle physical currency as little as possible.

  1. Central banks are all powerful.

The Federal Reserve Act does give central banks some impressive powers, but they have no power over credit rating agencies. Many hedge fund and wealth funds that act as banks are also not under Federal Reserve authority, neither are many international banks.

  1. Banks alone control interest rates.

Credit rating agencies have as much if not more influence over interest rates than banks; their ratings determine the cost of loans.

So were you surprised? The way banking works has changed over the centuries, and other countries with different financial systems have different banking procedures. Whether you are a consumer who uses banks every day or a financial executive who interacts with our banking system, you will benefit by knowing how the system works.

Join us for Parkland’s new course, BUS 171 – Principles of Banking, and get your banking education underway!

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An introduction to banking and financial services, BUS 171 will focus on bank terminology, financial performance, managing risk and sources of funds, and lending policies and procedures. Course instructor is Jim Smith, and the course textbook is Bank Management and Financial Services by Peter Rose and Sylvia Hudgins, Richard Irwin Publishing.

Parkland will offer BUS 171 beginning this fall semester, Aug. 24–Dec. 16. Class will meet on Wednesdays, 6–8:45 p.m. in Room B134. The course is 3 credit hours, has no prerequisite, and may be applied toward our Business Management AAS degree.

Sign up now; registration for the course ends Aug. 18!

[Bruce Henrikson is chair of the Business and Agri-Industries department at Parkland.]

Parkland CDC: Where Your Child Learns and Grows

Students and community residents: Looking for quality childcare and early childhood education in the Champaign-Urbana area? Look no further than the Parkland College Child Development Center, where your child can discover, create, and grow!

Located on Parkland’s campus since 1993, we are a licensed childcare facility that serves Parkland College students, employees, and community families with early childhood programs for children ages 2 through 5.  Our center has been accredited since 1999, and we have obtained the Gold Circle of Quality through ExceleRate Illinois.

We give priority consideration to Parkland College students with children; student rates are available, based on a sliding scale.  Usually half our enrollment comes from our students’ families, and our daily rates are competitive to other childcare programs in the community.

For your children, we provide a play-based curriculum in a caring and creative environment. Our teachers are highly qualified; they plan daily activities that support the Illinois State Board of Education’s Early Learning Standards for young children.

An online brochure and application at the Parkland College CDC website offers information on childcare tuition and allows you to be added to our waiting list. There’s no application fee required. For more information, call 217/373-3777 or visit our website www.parkland.edu/childdev

[Nancy Kemna is director of the Parkland College Child Development Center.]

Expand Your World: Foreign Language Study

What are some benefits of studying a foreign language?

In addition to fulfilling the language requirement that some of Parkland’s 4-year partner institutions have, studying a foreign language is a great way to expand your mind and your world. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), language learning can benefit all students. Specifically, language learning boosts the development of reading skills, and it correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized tests.

Interestingly, research has also shown a correlation between language learning and students’ ability to hypothesize in science.

Parkland College offers instruction in 6 foreign languages:
Arabic
French
German
Japanese
Portuguese
Spanish

Don’t be afraid to try a new language; you’ll never know whether you like it unless you try it. Plus, as described earlier, even a small degree of language study has advantages. Check out Parkland’s class schedule for the upcoming semester to see when a language class you are interested in is being offered.

(For more research on the benefits of language learning, visit www.actfl.org.)

[Wendy Patriquin, interim director of the Humanities department,  specializes in English as a Second Language.]

Welcome to the Maker Movement

In one of his most famous speeches, Robert Kennedy spoke for innovators when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Like Mr. Kennedy, there have always been humans discontent with things “the way they are.” They have been called different names—inventor, scientist, artist, daydreamer—but they are all united under the burning question of “why not?”

Sculpture student using a Dremel tool to make a hand sculpture.
Sculpture

Today, many people asking that question have found a home in the Maker Movement. Makers imagine new things, experiment, and bring their ideas to life. They often complete this process in the company of others, as Makers recognize the value of sharing ideas and resources. An intentionally broad and inclusive label, anyone, from amateur to professional, is welcome to call themselves a Maker. According to makerfaire.com, Makers are a “growing community of creative and curious people,” and a “wellspring of innovation.” They are immersed in their desire to solve problems, to add beauty to everyday life, and to fashion a better future.

Parkland art student drawing a still life.
Drawing

Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts Department offers opportunities to participate in the Maker Movement. In this blog post, we highlight our Art Program, where faculty members—all working artists and definitely Makers—lead classes in which students paint, draw, compose photographs, solder metal, mold clay and otherwise transform lifeless materials. Students get hands-on, experiential learning in fully equipped workshops. They receive the space and time to think creatively and communicate visually. Like the Maker Movement, all students are welcome and encouraged to join.

Parkland student soldering in a metals class.
Metalworking & Jewelry

Giertz Gallery Director and Metals instructor Lisa Costello offers her take on the popularity of the Maker Movement, and its connection to Art courses.

“As human beings, we are not only built to be consumers, but we have a strong desire to be sensitive makers,” she said. “A huge part of our brains are geared toward small motor skills, attention to detail and the need for thoughtful creativity and problem solving. We offer classes that meet these needs.

“Some of our students are interested in eventually setting up their own studio, perhaps selling on Etsy or in galleries; some already have a degree and are looking to expand how they understand the world; and some take the classes as an elective to enrich their educational experience. It is a great time to take an art class and feed that creative desire, no matter where it stems from.”

If you’re intrigued and ready to discover how you fit in to the Maker Movement, or if you’re already a proud Maker, you’ll find the materials and support you seek in Parkland’s Art classes. Register at parkland.edu/admissions, or by calling 217/351-2482. The payment deadline is August 18 for classes beginning August 24.

Classes are available in the following subjects:
Metals,  Drawing, Ÿ 3-Dimensional  Design,  2-Dimensional Design, Photography, Ÿ Painting,  Sculpture,  Ceramics

[Kate Ross is the promotions assistant for Fine and Applied Arts.]

Semester Countdown: 6 Tips to Prepare for Fall

Only six weeks remain until Parkland College’s Fall Semester 2015 begins.  Here are six tips to make the most of the time remaining. After all, just a little preparation can yield big dividends, such as a smoother transition into a new round of lectures, labs, and learning experiences!

  1. Register for classes; don’t wait. Walk-in hours are available at the Counseling and Advising Center. Mondays and Wednesdays are generally the best days for continuing students.
  2. Check on your financial aid or any other grants and scholarships you may be expecting to pay for your classes.
  3. Pay for classes online by August 4 or risk losing your schedule!
  4. Fall books will be available in the Bookstore August 10, so make sure you get what you need before the first day of class.
  5. Find your classes and the best places to park. Even if you have attended Parkland in the past, be sure to know where you’re going on that first day.
  6. Check out the Fall Convocation in the Student Union on Thursday, August 27, at noon. You’ll enjoy free food, a chance to win an iPad, and lots of information on Parkland student clubs and organizations.

[Tim Wendt is Parkland’s director of Enrollment Services.]

13 Reasons You Should Take Yoga at Parkland College

I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years.  I have loved it since my first practice.  About five years ago, I decided to become a yoga instructor.  Having a regular yoga practice has many benefits. Instead of telling you why I think you should take my yoga class, I recruited my Tuesday evening class to share why they practice yoga at Parkland:

  1. I take yoga for balance, strength, and relaxation… something I can do just for me. 🙂
  2. After sitting at a desk all day, it is so beneficial to my body and mind to come to yoga class and stretch, de-stress, and gain strength.
  3. Good for strengthening and stretching.
  4. No matter how sore or still you may be, after a yoga session, you will feel incredible—mentally and physically!
  5. It’s relaxing.
  6. The poses I have learned in this class have helped me improve my balance, strength, and flexibility. The class itself is a nice escape from the stresses of a long day at work. I love it!
  7. Yoga is an awesome class—after class, I feel so relaxed and energized.
  8. Relaxing, fun, and good energy! Great way to calm, de-stress, and build strength. Knowledgeable and fun instructor.
  9. It’s fun, relaxing, helps you stretch muscles you haven’t used in a long time.
  10. Yoga helps with improvement of balance and flexibility.
  11. It seems that Tuesdays are very hectic at work. Some days, I feel like skipping, but am soooo thankful when I come! I feel better physically and mentally. Love yoga!
  12. For balance. As you age, that’s the first thing that goes.
  13. Lisa creates a great environment. I look forward to coming and de-stressing.

****A NEW Flow Yoga session starts Tuesday, May 26! Register NOW with Community Education: 217/353-2055.

Tuesday evening Flow Yoga class doing favorite poses.
Tuesday evening Flow Yoga class doing favorite poses.

Three Key Reasons to Take Online Courses at Parkland!

Parkland College has offered online/distance learning for a long time and, for many reasons, we are still one of the top schools in the state of Illinois for online instruction.
Reason #3 – Quality: Online courses at Parkland are taught by the same instructors who teach in our classrooms.  And many of them have undergone additional training to help them to become effective and efficient online instructors.  So, we can proudly say that we have quality instruction happening at Parkland College, regardless of the method of delivery.
Reason #2 – Transferability:  Our online courses meet all of the same criteria for our classroom courses and are, therefore, accredited and accepted at most transfer institutions.  As always, we defer to the transfer institution for how they will accept the credits to be applied to a baccalaureate degree, but our courses are fully compliant with the Illinois Articulation Initiative and undergo regular review for continued compliance to ensure the quality of our courses.
And Reason #1 (And probably the most important reason) – Affordability:  It’s been said that you can expect to pay the same for an online degree as you would for one at a “brick and mortar” institution.  And for in-district students at Parkland, that is true.  Our online course rates for in-district students is the same as for the classroom instruction.  So, that makes Parkland an easy choice for getting your degree in a timely fashion—no worrying about conflicting class schedules.  Just take the online version and work at times that are convenient for you.
But wait… it gets better!  Out-of-district and international students pay substantially more per credit hour for classroom instruction.  However, Parkland is able to offer the online courses at a much more affordable rate than the classroom version.  For out-of-district students, the cost is $192.50 per credit hour; for international students the rate is $282.50 per credit hour.  Even at these rates, Parkland is the smart choice compared to other online institutions.

Tuition1

 

Further good news with the affordability of online courses is that they are fully eligible for federal financial aid.
So, make your money go further this summer and take your courses from anywhere in the world.  Parkland College will go with you and ensure you are getting quality, transferable courses at the best possible price.
Get started by choosing the link on this page that best describes your situation.  If you have any questions, please contact admission@parkland.edu.  See you online!

Beat the Line! A Few Reasons to Register Before Spring Semester Ends

Zach-web
Zach Trueblood is a sophomore English Literature major who writes for the Parkland Prospectus newspaper.

Do you often wonder why classes are so hard to get into right before the start of fall semester? This is due to the fact that enrollment for summer and fall semesters starts in the spring semester.

You’ve likely gotten email about registering, but perhaps it has fallen to the wayside, buried in correspondences from your professors. But as they say, the early bird gets the worm. Those students who have read that email or known about early registration are jumping on all of the “good” classes.

Not only are current students registering early, but new students are taking advantage of many orientations that start in the spring semester. These new students are also registering very early for summer and fall courses. This causes the best class sections to fill up even quicker.

The best part is, registering early helps alleviate the stress that comes with waiting until the last minute. The earlier you register, the more time you have to get your finances in order and enjoy some free time until the next semester starts. So, see your counselor or advisor and get registered now!

Come Fly with Us: Open House, DuPage Airport

Calling all Institute of Aviation prospective students and alumni! You are invited to attend the Institute of Aviation Open House at the DuPage Airport on Saturday, April 18 starting at 1 p.m. The Open House will be at the DuPage Flight Center, 2700 International Drive in West Chicago.

Free fun flights are available for the first 10 prospective students to RSVP to aviation@parkland.edu. Be sure to RSVP soon, because a parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form if the prospective student is less than 18 years old.

Students will learn about what the Institute of Aviation has to offer, with our four pathways to an aviation career. Alumni and friends will learn about what’s been happening as we transition to Parkland College from the University of Illinois.

Our focus will be on prospective students from 1-4 p.m., and then we greet, meet, and field questions from alumni and friends from 4-7 p.m.

Stop by to meet current students and flight instructors, maybe take a fun flight, and learn more about the possibilities at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

Insurance Standout to Speak at Open House

jdowney

[For Jay Downey, managing director of the Downey Group, Parkland College was a game changer. Downey will present the talk, “What Parkland Means to Me” at our Spring 2015 Open House tomorrow (Friday), at 12:20 p.m. in Room U140. I asked him a few questions as a teaser for his discussion. Please come out to hear him!]

How has Parkland impacted your life?

“Parkland allowed me to find a bridge from high school to the U of I. I was not the best student in high school for a lot of reasons. Parkland had programs to help me get stronger; its professors and associates had the patience to help me obtain the skills I needed to be successful at the next level.”

Are you still using the lessons you learned here? How?

“I use the lessons I learned at Parkland every day at work and in my personal life. Parkland educated me to write business proposals and recognize famous works of art in a museum. The education I received was broad, comprehensive, and very affordable. I admire and respect all of the instructors I had and have a deep sense of gratitude towards them all.”

What is the Downey Group?

“The Downey Group, Inc., provides high quality life insurance, long term care, disability programs, and related planning, for affluent individuals, families, and businesses. We work closely with you to accomplish a variety of wealth accumulation, preservation and transfer objectives.”

Jay Downey is a qualifying and life member of one of the highly regarded associations in the insurance industry, The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), where he has achieved Honor Roll status. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA).

Adults: Get It Started at Parkland Open House

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Natasha, a Parkland student, was the first adult student we served in the Adult Re-entry Center’s new office space in the Student Union.

Do you or someone you know have college credits that are figuratively collecting dust — not being put to use?

Have you thought about starting or completing your degree, but aren’t sure how to pay for it? Does your work schedule only allow for online courses, but you’re not sure how those things work? Are you not sure what sort of jobs are out there for Parkland College grads? Have you wondered how far a Parkland degree can take you?

For the answer to these and many other questions, you should come out to Parkland’s spring Open House on Friday, March 13. You will find an array of information sessions dedicated to these topics, among others.

Scheduled speakers include:
• Tim Wendt, Parkland’s director of Financial Aid and Veteran Services; Tim will share his wealth of knowledge about “adult-centric” ways to finance a college education.
• Tony Hooker (yours truly) will show you how to put your existing credits to work, earning a Parkland credential while moving toward a bachelor’s degree.
• Lori Wendt from Parkland’s Distance and Virtual Learning office will be on hand to discuss online course delivery. I’ll also share a bit about what’s available online.
• Sandy Spencer, director of Parkland’s Career Center, will speak about what’s hot and trending with regards to careers.
• Jay Downey, a proud Parkland alumnus and managing director of The Downey Group, will speak about the impact Parkland has had on his life.

The time is now for you to make a move toward your academic goals, and Parkland’s spring Open House is the best first step! The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the new Student Union. See you there!

Early College & Career Academy Coming Fall 2015

Do you know an area high school student who wants a head start on a new career? Education for Employment System #330, along with Parkland College, is happy to announce the launch of its Early College and Career Academy, or ECCA, beginning fall 2015.

The new academy will allow high school juniors and seniors to enroll in dual credit classes at the Parkland campus. Six programs will be offered in its debut:  automotive technology, computer networking, criminal justice, certified nursing assistant, emergency medical services, and manufacturing.

Of course, Parkland has offered dual credit classes for some time now. However, ECCA students will not only receive dual credit; they will learn valuable hands-on skills to prepare them for the workforce. Several programs are even aligned with Parkland certificates and/or state licenses.

Transportation to and from Parkland, as well as funding provided for the program, will be determined by the students’ home high schools. This is a great opportunity for students in our area to experience higher education while still in high school and get a head start on their career goals.

Students who are interested should contact their high school guidance counselor. Information is also available at www.parkland.edu/ecca. The EFE #330/ECCA office can be reached at 217/355-1382.

 

[Renae Kirkton is the special projects coordinator for EFE System #330.]

Applying for a Health Career Program? Act Fast

March 1 is right around the corner, so if you are interested in applying to one of Parkland’s Health Professions programs, now is the time!

To enter most of our programs, students must go through a “Selective Admissions” process.  What does this mean?  Here are the main points:

  • Each program has specific admission criteria and minimum requirements.
  • A student must specifically “apply” to one particular program.
  • Program-specific classes can only be taken by students admitted to the program.
  • Application deadlines are specific.
  • Admissions are competitive; even though you meet minimum requirements, you may not be accepted.

The best way to learn more about our Selective Admissions process is to visit our website and watch our “Get the Facts” presentation at www.parkland.edu/healthprofessions.

While you’re at the website, take a look around and check out our different Health Professions programs. When you click on a program, it will take you to that program’s website for more information.

So, are there any programs that are not Selective Admissions?  Yes; the Nurse Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic are one-semester courses that will only be available to sign up for during our normal registration periods. However, both of these classes have requirements, so please take the time to visit those websites. The Nurse Assistant program has state requirements that need to be completed before registering.

These are the programs with March 1 deadlines:

Dental Hygiene
Dietary Manager
Emergency Medical Services: Paramedic
Massage Therapy
Medical Assisting
Nursing: ADN – Registered Nursing
Nursing: LPN – Practical Nursing
Nursing: LPN to ADN Bridge
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Radiologic Technology
Respiratory Care
Surgical Technology
Veterinary Technology

Please visit our website for more information and handy  “Are you ready to apply?” checklists for each program: http://www.parkland.edu/healthprofessions

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at mspading@parkland.edu. See you around campus!

Michele Spading
Vice Chair Health Professions Student Affairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not too late to fly!

While Parkland courses have started already, it’s not too late to take a flight course.

The 13-week AVI 101 course starts Monday, February 2. Deadline for registration is 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, January 27.

UIUC aerospace engineering students tell us that learning to fly is a great resume builder, and it sets them apart from the competition.
International students tell us that learning to fly while in the U.S. is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Learning to fly an airplane will increase your confidence and present a challenge that is truly rewarding. You might also find the path to a new career.

Ready to take flight? Give us a call right now and we’ll help you get started.

Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois
Natalie Health
Administrative Assistant
Willard Airport
217/353-2171
www.parkland.edu/aviation

Veterans: Quick Tips on Using Your Benefits

 

Fresh from military duty and looking to begin (or finish) your degree for a new career? You can find lots of help to do just that at Parkland College, through the Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Services.

Kristina Taylor, veterans coordinator in the financial aid office, has a few tips for you on how to make the most of the GI Bill and other veterans benefits you have earned. Just click on the image above to begin the video.

Parkland College thanks you for honorably serving our country.

What is Parkland Pathway to Illinois?

The first time I walked into Parkland College was in 1994. I remember parking in what I now know to be the B wing and attempting to find the Admissions office (which resulted in me visiting the X wing and, somehow, the L wing). As a December ’93 graduate of Champaign Central High School, I knew that I wanted to transfer to a university, but I didn’t want to jump into that university life right away. Thank goodness for Parkland College.

While I made lots of wrong turns trying to find classes (signage is so much better now!), I never made a wrong turn in my course selection due to fantastic Parkland advising,  and I was able to transfer and successfully complete my bachelor’s degree.

UI-PC-roadsign

Parkland Pathway to Illinois Program
Parkland College has been a partner with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for almost 50 years and has successfully transferred thousands of students. Seven years ago, the two institutions came together to create a new initiative, the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. This program offers a selective group of students the opportunity to be enrolled at Parkland full time and also take a course at the University of Illinois every semester. Students receive individualized counseling at Parkland and at Illinois and can live in University housing.

Other benefits include guaranteed admission to the University of Illinois and paying a discounted tuition rate based on Parkland College tuition. The Parkland Pathway to Illinois program does not replace the traditional transfer programs that Parkland College offers, but it aims to enrich opportunities and open the door to the University of Illinois to more students.

How to Apply
Two separate groups of steps let a student apply to the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. The first is for high school seniors to first apply to Parkland College in a transfer program (they will have to reapply even if they took dual credit courses in high school). They can apply by clicking here and can find a list of transfer degree programs here. Once they are admitted to Parkland College, students then schedule an assessment test. This test, used for Parkland course scheduling purposes, must be completed by April 1.

The second group of steps begins February 15, which is the day that the University of Illinois Parkland Pathway to Illinois application opens. High school seniors would create their myillini.illinois.edu account and apply to the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program. To apply, students must have the following:

  • Access to their high school courses and grades
  • ACT and/or ACT scores sent electronically to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 300-word (max.) essay related to their interest in the major they wish to study at the University of Illinois (a full list of undergraduate majors is available here)
  • Any other items required.

Once all parts of the University of Illinois application have been received, Pathway applicants will be reviewed for admission.

The Parkland Pathway to Illinois program is not the only way to transfer to the University of Illinois, but it is a way to slowly get used to the university environment while enjoying the benefits of the award-winning faculty, small class sizes, and personalized resources of Parkland College.

***Learn more at the Pathway to Illinois Informational Open House, Feb. 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Parkland College Student Union***

Questions about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program can be directed to Beth Chepan, Parkland College Admissions and Records, 217/351-2887 or Holly Herrera, University of Illinois, holly10@illinois.edu

File Your FAFSA NOW for a Happier New Year!


Parkland Students: It’s TIME to fill out the
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it as soon as possible!  Waiting can keep you from getting the State of Illinois MAP Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, and/or Federal Work-Study that you might be eligible for—which run out earlier and earlier each year!

It is definitely worth your time to complete the FAFSA. Most students qualify for some form of aid, and even those who don’t qualify for grants still often borrow federal loans (but only after they’ve filled out the FAFSA!).

Need help filling out your FAFSA online (www.fafsa.gov)? Stop by the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services (Room U286) with your tax return copies, your FAFSA PIN (if you have one already), and any other required paperwork.

Also, visit our website for more information on financial aid deadlines at Parkland.

 

 

University of Illinois Students Take Classes at Parkland College

I will bet that most University of Illinois students are not aware of how many of their fellow students are taking courses at Parkland College while attending Illinois. The numbers might surprise you, because so many are taking our online courses; thus, they are almost in “stealth” mode.

In fact, about 400 Illinois students will take one or more Parkland College classes this spring. It is not unusual to see that number swell to around 2,000 Illinois students during the summer term.

The online course format allows students to complete their Parkland courses around Illinois classes, work schedules, and social activities; this is the most popular mode for taking our classes. Students who prefer the traditional course format take classes at our campus in the afternoon, late afternoon, and evening so they will fit in with their busy schedules.

Some Parkland courses traditionally have a significant number of Illinois students enrolled. Examples include online Physics 121 and 122 (the equivalent of Illinois’s PHYS 101 and 102) and basic general education courses like Psychology 101 (equivalent to PSYC 100) and History 105 (equivalent to HIST 172)—a nice choice to meet the Illinois Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative and Humanities and the Arts: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives requirements.

Of course, in order to enroll in any courses, you’ll need to complete some basic tasks. You can begin the process of applying to Parkland as a Course Enrollee (a person not working toward a degree or certificate at Parkland) online by going to http://www.parkland.edu/getStarted. As a current Illinois student, you would be considered a “concurrent enrollment” student at Parkland.

You can find procedures and forms for domestic students at the University of Illinois website, at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_domestic.pdf. Procedures and forms for international students are available at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_international.pdf. Please note the instructions very carefully. You must meet Parkland’s prerequisites for the courses and must verify this by bringing with you your Academic History from Illinois Student Self-Service.

If you are wondering how Parkland courses transfer to Illinois, check out the transfer course matrix at http://online.parkland.edu/transferpatterns/index.cfm.

So, if you are looking to squeeze in one more course or maybe looking for a different time or a format that you are unable to get  at Illinois, taking a class at Parkland College might just be for you. We would love to have you!

Parkland College is open until Dec. 23 to take your registrations.

Please note that all Parkland College transfer classes are freshman and sophomore level. For additional enrollment information, contact Parkland’s Office of Admissions.

John Sheahan
Director, Counseling and Advising Center

Team YOU: Making the Goal (Success)

portrait-17Hi, my name is Marietta Turner and I’m Dean of Students here at Parkland College.

I’ve served here six years as the advocate (supporter) for student rights and responsibilities, providing both a means for students’ voices and guidance for students’ conduct. I seek to help students if they can’t figure out who to see or what to do about a situation  on campus; I also help them reach their instructors if they’re out of class for an extended time. I’ve been working with students for more than 20 years because I like students, especially community college students. In fact, this is the third community college I’ve worked at in my career.

OK, enough about me. Let’s talk about you.

You want to be successful and complete your educational dream, right?  Everybody’s vision is different, so that could mean a certificate or degree that takes you right to your career, or transfer to a university to finish a bachelor’s degree. How about I give you some tips from time to time about how you CAN change your dream into an achievable goal?

Why change your dreams into a goal? Well, a dream is just that…it’s wishing and hoping for something that may or may not come true. When you set a goal, you plan observable actions towards an end result to be achieved within a more or less fixed time frame. So, let’s dream a big goal (say, a Super Bowl-sized one, because that’s what graduating is like).

OK, the first tip I want to give you is this: You are the boss of you, so take charge of your plan by seeing your advisor, registering for your classes and having your payment arrangements, Financial Aid, or Nelnetcompleted by the deadlines.  Remember, Parkland’s Spring 2015 semester registration is going on NOW.

Next, you become the coach for TEAM YOU. This means you need to develop a game plan to achieve your goals for completing all the necessary courses with good grades. This success takes you over the goal line, into the end zone, and you become a Parkland College graduate. (I’m a football fan so I do make those kinds of sports references.) You need action plans to help you, and we’re going to talk further and hear from successful students to help you plan your game-winning strategies.

Enjoying Your Major

Communication major Matt Weldon shares his ‘a-ha’ moment.

Like many students here, I started my journey at Parkland with aspirations to transfer to the University of Illinois to study mechanical engineering. Ever since I could remember, math and sciences were my best subjects. I like to build and tinker, especially with cars. My end goal was to get my degree and work in the automotive industry.

However, I soon understood that I didn’t have any passion for what I was studying. The thought of having a six-figure starting salary kept me going or a while, but eventually even that wasn’t enough. Just because I could do something didn’t mean I enjoyed it, and I realized that enjoying what I do is more important to me than making a lot of money.

With that epiphany, I decided to change things up a bit. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to read articles or watch features on different things I enjoy. This includes topics like cars, world events, traveling, and more. I always imagined that the guy who writes about these things he enjoys and gets paid for it must be one of the luckiest guys in the world. It then occurred to me that I could be one of those guys.

That’s why I decided to make the drastic leap from studying mechanical engineering to journalism.

So if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my journey here so far, it’s that sometimes you can’t put a price on doing what you enjoy. It’s cliché, but follow your passion.

Health Professions: A Career for You?

Have you ever considered a future in health professions? For that matter, do you even know what we mean by health professions here at Parkland? Sometimes we throw terms around and expect everyone to know what we are talking about—that is especially true in health professions! We offer so many opportunities here at Parkland to work in the health care field. Some programs take only one semester while others offer full two-year degrees.

For example, our Nurse Assistant program and our Emergency Medical Technician Basic program are each only one semester long! Both of these professions provide students a great opportunity to work in a health care field and decide if they want to proceed further or do something different—all while being paid!

Maybe your passion is for animals instead of people? I get phone calls on a regular basis from veterinary clinics asking about our Veterinary Technology students. Our program is nationally known for excellence, and many places want to hire our graduates. When you complete our two-year Vet Tech program, you will have earned an associate degree and be ready to take the national board exam.

Other Health Professions options here at Parkland include one-year certificate programs. So what can you complete in one year? You could become a Medical Office Assistant, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Massage Therapist, or a Paramedic.

What about other two-year degrees? We offer degrees in Dental Hygiene, Registered Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Surgical Technology. Students may also receive two-year associate degrees in Massage Therapy and in Emergency Medical Services (Paramedic).

The healthcare industry continues to experience employment growth, and this growth is anticipated to continue for many more years. It is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. I’d love to tell you more about each of our programs…better yet, come our Open House this Friday, November 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at our main campus and also at our H wing on Mattis Ave. You can learn more about each program and speak to the faculty and students for firsthand experience!

How to Tell if a College is the Right “Fit”

So, how can you know if a college is the right fit for you?

The first step is often an on-site visit.  Once you start walking around a school, meeting professors, and talking to the staff, you usually get a feeling of what it would be like be a student there.  One of the least stressful times to visit a college is on Open House Day.  This is the day the college opens its doors and puts all its energy toward recruiting new students.  From a student’s perspective, that’s when there will be the most going on, the most people to talk with, and the most tour times.

Parkland is no exception.  On Friday, November 7 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., we will be hosting a campus-wide Open House.  That same day, from 1 to 4 p.m., will be hosting our Health Careers Open House.  It’s one of the few times when  labs for nursing, veterinary technology, occupational therapy assistant, and many others are open for visits.  Additionally, there will be tons of instructors and current students available to answer specific questions.

So whether you know exactly what you want to major in,  you’re deciding among several ideas, or you have no idea what to take in college, Open House is a great time to get to know more about Parkland.  Come check us out on Friday, November 7.  No RSVP required!

Your Mom Called. She Said to Wear Clean Underwear and Carry Your I.D.

Lori Sprague
Lori Sprague, Admissions Assistant

“PARKLAND ADMISSIONS, THIS IS LORI…”

Here’s something I’ve noticed for quite a while now: When students come into Admissions, the first thing we always ask before we can conduct any business is, “Do you have a photo ID?” This is the interesting part (to me, anyway): The student usually says, “It’s out in my car.

I would say this is the response we get about seven out of 10 times. (Okay, Institutional Accountability and Research doesn’t have any data on this, so let’s just say it’s based on my own observational data. Sounds pretty solid, right?) Well, maybe some days this occurs more than others. There may be some days where lots of photo IDs are showing up at the front counter, and then there are other days where most of them are locked safely out in the trunks of cars in the B, C, & M parking lots.

So, you might have to be patient with me, here, as I may slip into “Mom-mode” and let my worry-wart behavior hang out…get ready for a few “what ifs”  (I’m a big fan of bullet points, they’re awesome!):

  • What if you get hurt while on campus?
  • What if you don’t feel well and pass out?
  • What if the New Madrid fault causes a major earthquake, Parkland is the epicenter, and you fall into a crevasse?

Even though the Doe family (Jane and John) certainly are part of a respected and long line of anonymity, and they seem to be super welcoming to adding new relatives, you may want to retain your very own, unique identity.  What better way to retain your identity than to carry it with you at all times?

So whether you are a Parkland Student, or a Student of Life, my friend, I will leave you with this sage old advice:  Always wear clean underwear. Always carry your ID.

Spring 2015 Registration and Transfer Planning

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What? Registration for the Spring 2015 semester is already underway?

Believe it or not, registration for Parkland College Spring Semester 2015 began Monday at 8 a.m. Registration this week is restricted to current Parkland students, based on a schedule that was sent to all students via their Parkland email accounts about two weeks ago. Open enrollment will begin next week.

All degree-seeking students who have earned less than 30 credit hours are required to be advised before they can register for classes. Please note that earned credit hours do not include hours in which students are currently enrolled. Additionally, all students on academic probation and students in certain programs (health professions majors, for example) are also required to be advised before registering.

Advising guidelines are posted on page 6 of the Spring 2015 Class Schedule. NOW is the time to get advised, so that you can enroll early on and have the best chance for getting the classes and the kind of schedule you desire.

Transfer Planning

Planning to transfer to another college or university next fall? It is important to make sure that you are taking the proper courses to transfer to the program you wish AND to know when you should be applying. The professionals in the Counseling and Advising Center (U267) would be happy to assist with your transfer planning. Please note that the Center will be extremely busy over the next two months due to spring registration, but please be patient and get the help that you need.

Students who plan to attend Parkland in the fall 2015 semester can learn more about Parkland College and transfer to other colleges and universities by attending the upcoming free Student-Parent Information Night (SPIN) at Parkland this coming Thursday evening, October 30, from 6 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. in the new Student Union. Click here for further information and for a registration link.

Top Five Resume Mistakes

We critique a lot of resumes in the Parkland College Career Center (more than 600/year, but who’s counting?!). Here are the mistakes we see students make most often:

1) Wrong college name. Our college name is “Parkland College,” not “Parkland Community College.”
2) Your name doesn’t stand out. Enlarge and bold it!
3) Work experience isn’t stated in the right ‘tense’. If you’re no longer performing the work, you ‘did’ it. If you’re still performing the work, you’re ‘doing’ it.
4) You don’t list (or even know) your professional strengths. If you can’t sell your strengths, why should they hire you?
5) You don’t state your correct degree program. “Close enough” isn’t close enough.

Now that you’re armed with a better resume, want to know the hottest careers out there to get? You can pick up lots more information this Thursday, during Parkland’s Student-Parent Information Night. It’s  6 to 7:45 p.m. in Room U144.  You can even sign up there to win money that can help you take courses leading toward that new career.

While you’re at it, stop by and visit us at the Parkland College Career Center (Room U238)…your partner from the start!

Sandy and Rachel blog pic

 

She’s doing it. So can you.

deannaFear and its BFF, Doubt, are the two main reasons adult learners cite when asked about returning to school to seek a college education.

Meet Deanna Cannon, a first-semester student at Parkland who has had to overcome many doubts and fears along the way to becoming a college student. Deanna graciously agreed to take a moment to answer some of my questions about her early experiences here.

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Tony:  What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a returning student?
Deanna:  Time management–I’ve had to learn how to balance school and work.

Tony:  What’s been most surprising about returning to school?
Deanna: That I’ve done as well as I have, to be honest. I think that as an adult learner, I don’t have any test anxiety. I’m more self-confident. Life experience has taught me how I learn best.

Tony: Tell me what you see as an advantage of being an adult learner.
Deanna: As an adult learner, I don’t worry about the social aspects of school. I’m focusing on the books, not the party!

Tony: What advice would you give to other adults as they’re beginning?
Deanna: Don’t discount yourself because of your age. I don’t have one particular thing that I’m focused on. Don’t limit yourself to possibilities. You don’t HAVE to finish a two-year program in two years, and this opens up other potential pathways.

Tony: Is there anything else that you would like to add in closing?
Deanna: As an adult, I’m not afraid to use resources that are available. I’m no longer worried about being labeled ‘stupid’ if I ask for help. I know that I don’t have to do this by myself.
**********

You don’t have to go it alone, either. Parkland’s Adult Re-entry Center can help you find the courage and resources you need to take a powerful step in your career and life journey. Call or e-mail me to discuss your options: 217/351-2462  or  finishyourdegree@parkland.edu. Or just stop by U233 and say hi.

Finishing high school early? Consider your options

In my last six years as director of Admissions and Records at Parkland College, I’ve noticed that more and more students are earning enough credits to graduate from high school a semester early.  In my opinion, there are some good reasons to stay in school for that final spring semester: Enjoy the end of your high school career. Go to prom. Continue to study for free.

But if your mind is made up, consider enrolling in a Parkland course or two for the spring semester. Even if you plan to study elsewhere the following fall, you can get a jump start on general education requirements at Parkland during spring 2015.

Instruction for spring semester begins January 12, but you need to be registered for class and have your books and tuition paid for before December 16. That means it would be smart to apply now for both admission to the college and for your federal financial aid. Have all of your spring enrollment business out of the way so you can enjoy the holidays.

If you wait until after the holidays, the last day to register for classes that start January 12 will be January 6, and the college doesn’t reopen from the holidays until January 5! So, although it may be possible to get registered in time, if you haven’t already covered assessment for math, English, and reading and completed orientation, that’s a headache you don’t need.

We also have a significant set of 13-week classes that start February 2. The last day to register and pay for those classes is January 27.

Call me or one of our admissions advisors at 217/351-2482 for assistance in getting started with the enrollment process. It’s not too early to do that if you’re thinking about enrolling for spring 2015, summer 2015, or even fall 2015. Questions? Please post them below.