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.]

Student Mentor Wins Scholarship! Find Yours

Congratulations to Parkland College Latino student mentor Alan Perez Cruz, awarded a Parkland College scholarship!

Over the past six months, Alan (center, in photo) has been a Comadre y Compadre mentor for four incoming Latina/o students at Parkland College. He has played an instrumental role in the program’s effort to increase the persistence rate of Latina/o students. He has done an exceptional job of infusing his previous leadership experience to genuinely connect and refer his mentees to campus resources.

In addition to his employment with the Comadre y Compadre Program, Alan has had to work more than 30 hours a week to support his educational dream of attaining a degree in business administration. He is a highly motivated and driven student. Being a scholarship recipient has provided him the validation that he is on the right path towards achieving his educational dreams. Most importantly, the financial support from this scholarship allows him to devote more time and energy to his academics.

More than $10,000 in scholarship funds are still available for Parkland College students for the spring 2015 semester, and scholarships for the fall semester will be available starting early next month! Please consider checking out the entire list of scholarships at my.parkland.edu under the student services tab.

Join Alan in being a Parkland College scholarship recipient!

What goes up must come down! New exhibition in the Giertz Gallery

Gallery helpers remove vinyl lettering to make room for new exhibit title.

The incoming work sits in gallery storage until it is time to install the show during installation week. The gallery puts a “Closed for Installation” sign on the door, and our tool carts appear along with our ladder. We “spot the show,” which is museum jargon for designing the exhibition and placing the artwork. We make measurements, let our hammers fly, place vinyl signage and labels, mount artist statements on the wall, and add lighting to the works. Hopefully, the dust settles before we open our doors on Monday morning!

Have you seen the latest exhibit in Parkland College’s Giertz Gallery? It features large-scale paintings by Wisconsin artist Tom Berenz. Berenz is a busy artist with a lot of exhibits on his resume. His artwork is full of contradictions, both in terms of formal elements and content. His artist statement says it best: “I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced—the cars (magic carpets/death traps), houses (castles/prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion).”

Art work being inspected
Large canvas in crate (upside down and wrapped in plastic) being inspected upon delivery

I look forward to giving tours and being able to hear interpretations coming from our students on the exhibits. I have already overheard some students analyzing Berenz’s work and disagreeing! One says, “The work captures the moment in time immediately after an explosion; you can see things settling in the aftermath!” and another says, “I see litter and the damage that we do to our environment. Also, it looks like a picnic. Is that a watermelon?” It will be interesting to read what they write in their papers!

I hope you are able to visit the gallery, enjoy the work, and draw your own conclusions.

Presently Absent: Works by Tom Berenz will be on exhibit at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College now through March 31. The gallery is always free, and everyone is welcome. For more information about the gallery visit www.parkland.edu/gallery and sign up for our email updates.

A with Honors Projects: Create, Achieve, Succeed!

Parkland students, I’m going to tell you about a great way to expand your special academic ability or creative interest while you’re here with us—and gain recognition (and even money) for it through a little extra effort.

Completing an “A with Honors” project in your Parkland class this semester can both challenge and encourage you. Students do not need to be a member of the Honors Program to complete an A with Honors project.

Those who complete an A with Honors project can receive a $100 scholarship,* and students who complete three Honors projects, have a GPA of 3.5, and participate in the Honors Symposium (spring semester) are awarded a $500 graduation scholarship.

You can see some of our projects on the award-winning SPARK (http://spark.parkland.edu/).

A with Honors Project Proposals for full semester classes are due by Friday, March 13.  Thirteen-week class Project Proposals are due no later than April 3.  You can find the Proposal Form at my.parkland.edu (look under Student Services>>Academics>>Honors Program>>Forms tab).

As you can see above, it is highly beneficial to join the Parkland College Honors Program if you are eligible. You may join the Honors Program with a GPA of 3.0, acceptable credentials from your high school or another college, or a unique academic ability or creative interest. Membership in the Honors Program and completion of Honors Projects expand student horizons, challenge students academically, and provide students with recognition on transcripts and resumes.

In addition, students who graduate from the Honors Program are eligible to participate in Honors at the University of Illinois (most of its colleges) and at other universities and colleges around the state.

Finally, I want to encourage you all to participate in Parkland Scholars, a student organization that fosters academic excellence and success. Parkland Scholars works in conjunction with the Honors Program to sponsor campus-wide events and participate in service learning projects and activities.

If you are interested in joining Parkland Scholars or the Honors Program, please contact me: mjones@parkland.edu.

*must also be in the Honors Program.

Computer Science, IT Jobs, Internships Are Waiting

Parkland students: Did you know that in the past year, we have had 65 businesses contact us directly to advertise positions in Information Technology (IT) on our job board?

In fact, in January 2015 alone we had 9 new job postings!

Computer and IT-related industries are continually seeking Parkland College students for internship possibilities, as well as full-time and part-time jobs.

Some of these employers have included Human Kinetics, University of Illinois, Amdocs, Wolfram, and Carle.

What do you need to do to find out about these opportunities?

1)  Go to our online Job Board.  Also make sure to check your Parkland email periodically for mailings regarding job openings.

2) Browse the online posts for positions that may be a good fit for you.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a position that interests you the first time, as we are adding jobs all the time.

3) Find out how the employer prefers to receive your information, and submit your qualifications!

Computer science and IT opportunities for training are out there, waiting for you. What a great way to gain experience as you are continuing your education in the IT field! Don’t let them pass you by!

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[Cyndia Hinton is program manager for Parkland’s Computer Science and Information Technology department. She can be reached at  217/353-2414.]

Go ahead, get ahead.