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.

Parkland Admissions, this is Lori: phone calls, roadblocks, and school…

Life is like a colorful patchwork quilt, full of different pieces & parts that somehow all come together
Life is like a colorful patchwork quilt, full of different pieces & parts that somehow all come together.


I receive a lot of phone calls. I’m not complaining; my role in Admissions is to field the incoming calls, answer questions, and distribute calls to the right or best resource.  My favorite calls are from folks who are kind, polite, patient, and have a sense of humor!  Of course, situations aren’t always funny when people call in. Sometimes there’s anger, frustration, misunderstanding, or even sadness.

Okay, this may sound like a “no-brainer,” but I’ll say it anyway: you can’t understand others if you don’t understand yourself. I’ve taken a few of those personality surveys and have found that I tend to have a lot of empathy toward others.

Sometimes I get calls from people who think they are too old to go back to school.  They tell me how old they are and that they feel silly or dumb calling in to ask about returning to school.  What is it about age that sticks a roadblock in front of us?  Sometimes I respond with my own story about being back in school right now, and I’m **…….hey I’m not vain, I just don’t like throwing the age thing out there as a personal merit badge, or bid for special attention or kudos.

Okay, so what prompted me to return to school after many (a lifetime, a dog’s age, a generation) years?  Like I said previously, I’ve been concentrating more and more on understanding myself.  I’m the type who likes to stay busy, be highly engaged, feel informed, and meet various challenges.  Even though I’m the kind that goes through each day with an easy sense of happiness, I was noticing more and more that the rut in my path of routine was getting deeper and deeper.  Time to reflect.

You’ve heard that there are certain things that you don’t have control over in your life, right?  Well, I started thinking (reflecting) on the stuff that I do have control over.  I figured time was going to go by no matter what I did, and I needed to think about what I could do with my time.  So, long story short, I am a student once again.

More on that later……for now (smile) keep your attendance perfect (or nearly so), your homework turned in (don’t forget to put your name on it), and participate in discussions (maybe raise your hand first, unless everybody’s free-stylin’).

Online Students Ought to Know…

…that you need to schedule the times on your calendar to work on your online course. 

This is a must! Not only should you be scheduling the due dates for course work, but you should be scheduling time to work on the assignments prior to the due dates.  Waiting until the last minute can cause undue stress for you in the instance that you have a question for your instructor and cannot reach him or her.  It’s important to plan ahead on all assignments!

7 Reasons to Take Zumba at Parkland

Zumba  ParklandJoin the Zumba dance party at Parkland! Here’s a fun way to get a great workout and meet new people. Think it’s not for you? Think again! Here are seven good reasons to join us!

  1. Each Zumba workout contains a mix of different music styles: Salsa, merengue, hip-hop, cumbia, bachata, samba, cha cha, and more.
  2. You don’t have to worry about being a good dancer. Just do your best and have fun!
  3. I keep the songs in the class playlist for 6-8 weeks. As you attend more classes, you will get practice and feel more comfortable with the choreography.
  4. Zumba burns 310 – 465 calories in a 60-minute class. If you move less, you burn less. If you move more, you burn more.
  5. My Zumba class can be easily modified to have no jumping or fast turns. There are always people who enjoy low-impact Zumba in my Parkland class.
  6. I add a new song each week to keep it fresh. I always give tips or do a preview of new songs.
  7. We have space in Zumba at Parkland College for YOU!

Zumba is a noncredit class that meets on Mondays from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Our next session for fall starts October 27 and ends December 8.  Call Community Education to register: 217/353-2055.
If you want more information, you can visit my Zumba page. You can also visit the official Zumba website for information.  See you soon!

Lisa Hoppe, Instructor

Student Union Ribbon Cutting—A Video Version

Well, last Wednesday was quite an exciting day for Parkland College with the ribbon cutting for our new Student Union. While the event was wonderfully covered on the brand new shiny Parkland College BLOG, I thought some folks might like to see it in its entirety (in case they missed it or maybe just really enjoy the cutting of ribbons).

Either way, here’s the video of the event. Is the Union officially open? Probably yes. Did Parkland College get an exciting new grant? Um, maybe. Did the ribbon actually get cut or did President Ramage have to brilliantly improvise? Geez, I don’t know. Watch the video and get answers to all of these burning questions.


Go ahead, get ahead.