Tag Archives: Center for Academic Success

Papers Due? Try the Writing Lab for Help!

Do you have a paper to revise? Are you trying to figure out MLA and APA citations? Would you like to brainstorm ideas for a scholarship application essay?

The Writing Lab can help! Stop by the Center for Academic Success (CAS, Room D120), where the lab is located, to consult one-on-one with writing faculty:

  • Get help with everything from starting on your academic paper to citing sources correctly.
  • Faculty will not proofread for you, but we can help you learn how to proofread.
  • Sessions last 15 minutes on average. Bring your assignment instructions with you so that Writing Lab faculty can help you effectively.
  • You can also find many helpful writing handouts and tutorials online.

Take advantage of this FREE resource for Parkland College students. We’re here for your success.

Writing Lab Hours
Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–4:50 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m.–1:50 p.m.

[Dr. Umeeta Sadarangani teaches English 101, Humanities 109, and a variety of literature courses, and she serves as the CAS writing specialist and the Writing Lab director.]

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.]

Mapping the Future: Careers in Transition

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

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

Your Future Ahead Road Sign

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sweet Emotion (or Not-So-Sweet) at Work

Remember the first line from Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion? “You talk about things that nobody cares…”

Aerosmith

We’ve heard the same sentiments about  Addressing Emotions at Work: “I don’t need to talk about emotions; that’s foo-foo stuff.” “I don’t have feelings, I just go to work and do my job.” At one point, I would have agreed with these statements, but not anymore.

Have you ever met your day with more than one thing not going right? The kids were running late, you hit every red light on the way to work and spilled coffee on your clothes, and at the office, the files you requested from your colleague couldn’t be pulled by your 8:30 a.m. deadline. Now, at this point, you have an (unsweet) emotion: frustration. What do you do with it?

What you are about to do with it, and how you are able to address others’ emotions in the workplace, will lay the foundation for how effectively you and your team function. You can either make a snippy comment to your colleague: “Are you serious? I should have just done it myself.” Or, you can choose to stop, reflect, and decide on what the better reaction could be:  “Thanks, Jane. I appreciate the heads up. How do you think we could still meet the deadline?”

Once strong emotions leave our control, our personal productivity and the productivity of others suffer. Think about how productive your colleague would have been if you chose to snap at her. Those in tune with their emotional reactions and who help others to do the same will have a positive impact on productivity, relationships, and the overall workplace environment.

Emotions are a part of every workplace—and everyone who cares should talk about them!  Addressing Emotions at Work is just one  of many workshops in Parkland College Business Training’s Leadership Certificate Series; sign up for a session today and bring “sweet emotion” to your workplace.

Why Don’t Our Employees Show Up On Time?

We’ve heard it from manufacturers to health care to education: Every industry is affected by the lazy employee rolling in 5, 10, or even 30 minutes late. HOLD UP! Is it really the employee’s fault? That’s right, could it be partially the employer or supervisor’s fault?

Soft skills, essential skills, common sense–whatever you want to call it–isn’t pre-programmed into us. We humans as a whole learn by hearing, doing, and seeing behaviors performed (some good and some bad). If we weren’t shown, we haven’t practiced, and no one took the time to explain to us why something is so important, why would we know how and when to do it?

Here’s some food for thought:

  • Are the supervisors modeling the appropriate behaviors?
  • Are the supervisors properly trained (performance management, constructive feedback, conflict management, etc.)?
  • Is the environment toxic (hostile, workplace gossip, safety concerns, etc.)?
  • Is the workplace invested in cultivating its employees vs. terminating the employee?
  • Are the employees effectively trained and oriented to the company culture and expectations?

Don’t give up on the “lazy” employee or the employee who isn’t producing or functioning at the level you desire. Instead, SHOW them, TRAIN them, and give them the TOOLS to SUCCEED.  Learn how through these popular classes from Parkland Business Training:

Time Mastery: Maximize Your Time
Making Teams Work

Surviving the Post-Midterm Slump

Spring is officially here and it’s the last few weeks of the semester. Do you feel like you’re running on empty? Are you wondering how you’re going to make it through another five weeks of classes? Do you lack the motivation and energy you need?

You are not alone.

The post-midterm slump happens to almost everyone. Here are some suggestions to help you to hang on a few more weeks.

Manage Your Time and Get Organized.  If you don’t already have a study schedule, make one. Determine the assignments and tests that will be due before the end of the semester for each class you are taking, and then pull out a calendar (or make your own) and write down when you will work on assignments and study for tests.

Be Realistic. Check your midterm grades. Are you passing all of your classes? If so, keep up the good work! If not, talk with instructors of the classes you’re not passing and see if it will be possible for you to raise your grade. If you are in too deep a hole, consider withdrawing from that class and using the extra time to improve your grades in the classes you can pass. Just remember: if you are receiving any type of financial aid (grants, loans or scholarships), speak with a financial aid advisor at Parkland before withdrawing from a class.

 Spend Your Time Productively. Spend less time on social media and use that time to study, relax, read, exercise, deep-breathe or sleep.

 Reward Yourself. Set up rewards that are equal to the goal you’ve accomplished. Finish reading three chapters in your Psychology text? Treat yourself to a frappucino. Complete a 16-page paper for History class? Buy yourself some sandals or Chuck Taylors. You don’t have to reward yourself for every accomplishment, but for the tasks you’ve been avoiding, they can be very motivating.

Get Some Sleep. The average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have a choice between cramming for an exam and sleeping an extra half hour or more, you’re probably going to do better on the exam if you choose to sleep.

 Get Help If You Need It. Organize a study group or go to the Center for Academic Success (CAS) in D120 and work with a Peer tutor, an instructor or a CAS staff member.

And remember: ONLY FIVE MORE WEEKS TO GO!

[Jan Thom is a Student Development Advocate in CAS.]

What is Online Learning, Anyway?

Distance education.  Distance learning.  Online learning. Virtual learning.  People use these terms interchangeably to mean a “mode of delivering education and instruction to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting, such as a classroom” (Wikipedia).

Distance education
Distance education. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

It may surprise you that the first distance education class in the U.S. took place about 300 years ago! In the 18th century, students could gain secretarial skills through mailed lessons (later called correspondence education).  Mailed lessons eventually evolved into televised courses: Schools recorded lectures on VHS tapes and made them available for students to check out and view in their homes.  Students would then send the completed lessons back to their instructors.

As the Internet became more prevalent, distance education offered the ability for “real time” interaction between instructor and students.  The Web brought about the opportunity for peer communication as well, much like students in a classroom, except for being in a virtual environment. Parkland College has offered this type of learning since the 1990s and is one of the top community colleges in the state of Illinois in online offerings.  We also believe that we have some of the best online faculty as well.

What does this mean for you? It means that, while its delivery systems are evolving, distance education is still serious business, and the rules for success at it remain the same:

Online learning is NOT always easy; it’s not just “browsing the Internet” or “chatting.”  You must research, write, and submit papers, just like in the traditional classroom.  You take quizzes, tests, and exams using a special software or learning management system (Cobra Learning at Parkland).  Faculty interact with you through topic boards  and class discussion, and they post grades of your online work.

Online learning takes discipline; there are generally no set hours to “attend” class or instructors in front of the room reminding you of due dates.  Faculty will give you the tools to help with your success, but it’s up to you to use them efficiently and effectively.

Not enrolled in online courses?  It is still a good idea to know how to use the Cobra Learning system for your classes. Many of our classroom faculty utilize Cobra  to distribute and receive materials as well as for testing.  So, log into the Cobra system and, along the right side below your profile settings, you will find a widget called Help for Students.  There you will find video tutorials to help you learn how to use Cobra.

Your success in all courses–classroom and online–is important to us.  Please take advantage of services we make available to ensure that success.  The STAR help desk, the Library, and CAS (Center for  Academic Success) are just a few of the services that we recommend, whether you’re taking an online class or not.

7 Ways to TANK Your Grades While There’s Time

Okay, so you’ve checked your midterm grades on my.parkland and you’re doing  fine: No “underwater grades” (below C level), you’ve made a good impression on your teachers, and you just might succeed!

Don’t worry, though; there are still LOTS of ways you can take all that hard work and money and flush it away! Here are just seven!

from table 028
Flushing away your good grades is easy. Photo by Sue Jones.

1.  It’s cold and dark now in the morning…go ahead, sleep in. Sure, you know that when you went in early and looked over your notes in D120 before class, everything made more sense; but now… it’s dark! Don’t be smart and figure out what will propel you from the covers (i.e., set the thermost to go on when it’s time to get up, turn that light on, put the alarm clock across the room, get a cat, make coffee, whatever!). Just sleep your good grades away.

Big_feet_(521365548)
“Big feet ” by Cyndy Sims Parr. Creative Commons license (521365548).

2.  Hang out with people who aren’t studying. They’re having a good time! Plus, they’re not concerned with your goals and dreams, so they won’t mind if your grades go down.

3,  Don’t just celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Celebrate Thanksgiving Week!  You have a lot to be thankful for. Surely you’ll need more than just two days off to express your thanks.  What’s a couple of days of missed assignments or quizzes, anyway?

4.  Lost your notes? Don’t even bother to look for them. Look back over the old material before you do tonight’s work; that’s what successful students do! Find somebody else who can share? Review for the final? That’s the stuff that might get you on the Dean’s List, so you’d better not!

5,  Text, sleep, and get all that social stuff done in class. You started out the year paying attention and taking good notes, but now you’ve figured out where to sit so the instructor can’t tell if you’re sleeping or on your phone (well, s/he probably can, but….) You’ll figure this stuff out later, right? Like when you’re hanging out with your friends who aren’t taking classes.

6.  Don’t bother to withdraw from classes you’re not doing well in.  After all, it is such a pain: You should meet with an advisor and financial aid to see how withdrawing will affect your academic or financial aid standing, then physically go to Admissions (second floor, Student Union) to fill out a withdrawal form. And they want you to do this by a specific date? Ugh.

7.  Give up when the going gets tough. You’ve fallen behind, and it will take more work than you want to put into it to get back up to speed. Well, no, you don’t even really know how badly you’re doing, but… ask? Face your fears? Heaven forbid you should talk to your instructor or visit D120 and ask for some help; asking for help is a definite sign of weakness. At least, that’s what people say when they aren’t brave enough to ask for help.

So…drop your work into the tank…

fishtank
Photo by Parkland graduate Bill Gibbens; used with permission.

…OR,  if you don’t think these are good ideas, come on over to the Center for Academic Success (CAS) in D120! We’ve got pep talks, reality checks, course helps, and lots of students working their way to academic success, just like you! See you there, if you dare!

IMAG0398
Come over to CAS for steps to success! Photo by Sue Jones.

What has made an impression on you this semester?

Yesterday, I spent some time in the Student Union talking with students as they made their way toward lunch. Quite a few students commented on how much better they liked the new food service area. Of course, cost is an ongoing concern, but the variety, quality, and especially the vastly improved and increased seating area all received high marks.

Toby2

Along the way, I met up with Toby Rothery. Toby is a freshman, majoring in business. I asked how the semester was going and what were some of the things that made an impression on him these first few weeks of the semester.

He said, “I learned right off the bat to not be afraid to go to your teachers for help; they are willing to [help]. The other very important thing to do is find a group to study with. It helps a lot and if you don’t get something they are always right there to help you with most problems you have.” We talked a little about the Center for Academic Success and how they can help with tutoring as well as the value of the Writing Center.

Toby also works in the Fine and Applied Arts departmental office as a student worker, which, according to Toby, “is light years better than his old job” working at Toy-R-Us.

Next time you are in the C-Wing, stop by the Fine and Applied Arts office and say “hey” to Toby.