R Factors: Instructor Tips for Online Students

Finish your online class in strong fashion by reflecting on four “R factors” your online instructors want you to remember:

Research:  Do not consider the Internet as the only research tool for your online course assignments. Most libraries, like Parkland’s, have online resources available, including live chats with real librarians during library hours! Do not rely on sites like Wikipedia or About.com unless your instructor has indicated that those are viable options for your assignment. Always ask about a site of which you are unsure.

Report Formats:  You may be required to submit your written assignments in a specific document format. Likewise, your preferred document format (.wps, .odt or .pages) may not be viewable by your instructor. So, pay attention to detail about the types of documents they are willing to accept, and if possible, send a test document to them PRIOR to the assignment due date to ensure that they can open and read your file.

Review (Tests):  Some courses may require you to do some exams via proctor, meaning that you will need to be monitored during the exam. Parkland has testing centers on campus for students in online courses who need to take a proctored test. Note: Distant students must work with the instructor to make arrangements for taking proctored exams at a different location.

Replies: Your online instructor may not reply immediately to your question or comment. Most online instructors do their best to reply to email within 24-48 hours. For grading of discussions and assignments, they may take up to a week after the due date before finalizing grades. Continue working on assignments while you await their response, and rest assured that they will respond to your request.

 

 

First-Time Flight Instructor, First-Time Flight

[Dylan Rickrode,  an Aviation Human Factors major at the University of Illinois, takes us on his first trip as a flight instructor. He now instructs part time with the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

I officially gave flight instruction for the first time this fall, on Sept. 13. It was a perfect day to fly, with clear skies and barely any wind. It was also my student’s first flight, so we were both excited.

After some instruction on taxiing and how to takeoff, we departed to the north to go to the practice area. I knew by the smile on his face that he loved aviation. When we got out there, we began doing some basic turns, climbs, and descents. I have to say that I was impressed at my student’s natural talent. We came back to the airport flying right over campus and both agreed how breathtaking it was. Everything is so much cooler seeing it from the sky. I am excited for the semester and all of the fun experiences it is bringing.

Our second flight was on Sept. 16. There were scattered clouds, and we had to dodge them on our way out to the practice area. When we got there, we did some more straight and level flight, turns, climbs, and descents. I began to teach him about sectional chart use and how to properly identify where we were. It was fun finding things on the chart that we were flying over, like grain elevators and lakes. He thought it was really cool how detailed the charts were and picked up on our location for the remainder of the flight.

We were able to fly again on Sept. 18, and we reviewed many of the same things we had been working on previously. We also included flying at various airspeeds and flight configurations to demonstrate the ever-important relationship between pitch and power. Of course, use of trim was a main part of the lesson. Once again, my student caught on very quickly and was sharp to identify not only what we were doing, but also why we were doing it.

It was a big first step in training…for both of us.

Comadre, Compadre Mentors Shine in KC, MO!

Parkland’s Comadre and Compadre Program mentors and coordinators recently (and successfully) presented their conference proposal, “Meaningful Connection Between Latina/o Students at a Community College in Illinois” at the 2014 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies’ (NACCS) Midwest FOCO Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

For all the student mentors, this was the first time they attended or presented at a regional conference. Their preparation and passion for the topic moved all of those in attendance. A former college dean called their work “commendable and inspiring.” Another participant called the mentors “rock stars!”

The Comadre and Compadre Program at Parkland College offers individualized mentorship between academically successful Latina/o students with incoming Latina/o students. The program operates under the guidance of program coordinators Moises Orozco and Eduardo Coronel. As of today, the Comadre and Compadre Program has a total of 60 incoming Latina/o students and 10 mentors.

In their roundtable presentation, Comadre and Compadre mentors underscored some important trends and challenges within a rapidly growing Latino student population. They also discussed in detail the impact they are having with their mentees, and they highlighted the uniqueness of working with traditional and nontraditional college-age students.

Students were also able to attend both scholarly and poster presentations. Most importantly, they were able to network with prolific scholars in the field of Chicana/o studies as well as Latino leaders in the community.

The Parkland Academy Team (PAT) received the Parkland’s Inspire, Develop, Engage, Assess, Sustain (IDEAS) Grant last fall, to actively address the low persistence rate of Latina/o students on campus as well as to engage in community outreach. To achieve these two objectives, PAT created the Comadre and Compadre Program.

The mentors viewed their conference experience as extremely motivational and validating of their hard work. They are all eager to submit another proposal to a conference, but this time include the mentees in the presentation, so they can inspire others!

Presenters at NACCS Conference:

Mentors (pictured): Jonathan Mendoza, Wendy Ramírez, Angeles Rivera-Centeno, Alberto (AJ) Jiménez

Coordinators: Moises Orozco, Eduardo Coronel

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.

The Parkland Shed

Completed sheds in the lab
Completed sheds in the lab

I moved into a new house last year, and it quickly became apparent that I could use a shed.  After asking around about where to get a shed, I decided to purchase one from Parkland College.  Everyone had nothing but good things to say about them.

The sheds are built as part of the CIT 115 course with Greg Walburg. The course is part of Construction Design and Management, Construction Design and Management: Contracting, and the Building Construction and Repair programs.

Sheds under construction
Sheds under construction
For sale sign on Mattis
For sale sign on Mattis
Parkland Shed Installed
Parkland Shed Installed

CIT Instructor: Dustin Stuart graduated with honors from Parkland in May 2014 with a degree in Construction Design and Management: Contracting. He is currently working for a remodeling contractor here in CU and is also a Teacher’s Assistant at Parkland for CIT 115.  I asked him about his experience in the course and if he had any advice for students thinking about going into one of the Construction programs at Parkland College.  This is what he told me:

“It was two years ago this semester that I started my program and CIT 115 was my favorite class that semester. I had previous knowledge of contracting work, but this class helped greatly in turning me into a professional. The most valuable lessons I learned from this class was how to read and interpret construction plans, teamwork, and project management.

In CIT 115, you get to experience home building basics in a comfortable lab environment with plenty of tools at your disposal. This is a dream vacation in comparison to getting your education on the roof of a house on a 90 degree day in July. In addition to the excellent lab space you have experienced teachers and students to help guide you along.

The only advice I could offer new students considering this degree is to just do it! Todd Horton and Greg Walburg are excellent teachers that care a lot about their students and their success. Every time I walked into one of their offices to ask about homework, a project, or even personal advice they always took the time to speak with me. You meet a lot of excellent students as well in this program. I still keep in touch both personally and professionally with most of my class mates. In addition to being a great program, Parkland is an excellent school. They have so many programs in place to help you succeed and a staff and faculty that are top notch.”

Learn about enrolling at Parkland College during the College Open House Friday, November 7.

If you’re interested in getting a shed for your yard, contact Greg Walburg at 373-3784 or gwalburg@parkland.edu.

Go ahead, get ahead.