Tag Archives: community education

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.]

What Do You Want to Be? Try Free Info Sessions

Have you started down a career path, looked around, and decided you might have been better off taking another route? This happens a lot to people, for various reasons:

  • Wrong initial career choice
    Family pressure, economic necessity, or other factors can push individuals into an unfulfilling career.
  • Fading interest
    Many people begin a career they think they will like and as life evolves, they realize the work no longer interests them and they hunger for something more.
  • Changes in personal situations
    Some people shift careers due to life events such as moving back home to care for aging parents or the birth of a child.
  • Advances in technology
    As advances in technology increase, some positions are reduced or made obsolete, requiring individuals to move into new positions or change careers altogether.

Parkland’s Business Training provides free information sessions for career-readiness and pre-license  programs to aid you in answering, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” If you like to help people, are detail-oriented, and are a team player, then register for these wonderful opportunities that might answer that elusive question.

On January 12, 2016, from 6-8 p.m., learn about the rewarding careers of Pharmacy Technician, Medical Coder, and Veterinary Assistant:

Professional Pharmacy Technician Training
Seeking compassionate, strong work ethic, patient, service-oriented, multi-tasking team players to join the growing and in-demand field.

Medical Coding Professional Training
Welcoming students to train in this field who are detail-oriented, analytical, high accuracy in typing, and who poses a high level of patience.

Veterinary Assistant Training
Take interest in the care and welfare of animals, with compassion, detail, and effective communication.

On January 11, 2016, from 6-7 p.m. , learn about career opportunities in Real Estate:

Real Estate Broker Training
Looking for curious, future focused, self-directed, tech-savvy and action-oriented individuals to embark on this rewarding field.

These FREE information sessions are available for you to meet the instructors, ask questions, and gain valuable insight into a new career.

Go ahead, Dream!

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.]

5 Reasons You Should Love Carter Family Music

The original Carter Family – A.P. and Sara Carter, and her cousin (and his sister-in-law) Maybelle Carter have been called “the first family of country music.” They recorded hundreds of songs in the 1920s–40s and Maybelle’s innovative style of guitar playing was enormously influential.

If you haven’t heard of them, you’ve almost certainly heard of Johnny Cash, who married Maybelle’s daughter June. Here are some other fun facts about the Carter Family and their music:

  1. Posters promoting Carter Family concerts featured the charming tagline, “the program is morally good.”
  2. Their concerts may indeed have been morally good, but there were plenty of juicy goings-on behind the scenes!
  3. The Carter Family back story includes the almost unbelievable tale of one Dr. Brinkley, purveyor of goat glands to a large and willing audience. No kidding!
  4. Maybelle Carter’s pioneering style, now known as the Carter scratch, changed acoustic guitar playing forever.
  5. Carter family descendants still run the Carter Family Fold in the location of the original homestead, featuring concerts and festivals year-round.

If you have any interest in early country or “hillbilly” music, we’d love to share the music of the Carter Family with you in an upcoming class offered by Parkland College Community Education. We will play and sing lots of their songs, and also talk about their history, why they were so popular, and why their music still endures today.

Mondays, September 14-October 5, 7 to 8:30pm, $45. Sign up by calling Community Education at 217/353-2055.

Feature image: Carter Family, the, Photograph, from Britannica Online for Kids, accessed August 28, 2015, http://kids.britannica.com/comptons/art-107922.

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.

7 Fun Facts about Bridge

Bridge is stiil one of the most popular card games in the world, so there must be some FUN to it! Speaking of fun, here are seven fun facts you may not know:

  • The card game of bridge evolved from previous trick-taking games dating back to the 16th century. The worldwide game had a surge in popularity in the United States in the 1930s.
  • Strategic game play keeps memory active, the brain alert, and the body healthier: A study in 2000 at the University of California-Berkeley found strong evidence that an area in the brain used in playing bridge stimulates the immune system.
  • Bridge enhances social life and nurtures partnerships – keys to healthy aging.
  • Bridge. Beats. Boredom. You can play it online, with a few friends at home, or via a club or tournament.
  • The average age of today’s competitive U.S. bridge player is 71.
  • Business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffett plays it: “Bridge is such a sensational game that I wouldn’t mind being in jail if I had three cellmates who were decent players and who were willing to keep the game going 24 hours a day.”
  • And… at 96 years old, it’s never too late to be Athlete of the Week.

Learn the game of bridge from scratch or enhance your skills, with FUN classes from Community Education.

Coloring? For adults?

Ready to relax, use your imagination, and revisit your inner child? Then spend a few hours coloring! Parkland College Community Education is offering a unique and creative outlet over three evenings this September.

You’ll have fun and explore the basics of visual art when you register for “Coloring for Adults.” When you do, you’ll join a current trend happening across the country–check out this article about adult coloring released just this past week.

During your first class, on Tuesday, September 1, visual artist Ella van Wyk will help you explore the materials, mark-making techniques, and basic color theory behind this experience. By week two, you will find your coloring abilities have reached a whole new level after a guided work session with the instructor.

At the end of your last class, you get to choose from a selection of original coloring pages by van Wyk to use as your final project and celebrate everyone’s finished pieces, with an informal critique of pictures and process.

Give yourself permission to enjoy this age-old method of stress relief. The fee for “Coloring for Adults” is $59, which includes all supplies for the class. To register, please contact Parkland College Community Education at 217/353-2055 or visit us at 1315 N. Mattis Ave. in Champaign.

Teach Them to Fish (So You Can Have a Break!)

man-fishTired of the constant line of employees knocking on your door? Can’t seem to do your own work? I get it!

When you are the leader of, well, anything, you are called on numerous times. Sometimes is it warranted, and sometimes you think to yourself, “You’ve got to be kidding me; I pay you for what, now?” Okay, so maybe that is a bit extreme (but you know it’s not).

The part of being a leader that isn’t always explained when you agree to take the corner office with the big desk and hefty paycheck is that you are now responsible for the cultivation (yes, cultivation) of your employees. They don’t always come fully equipped to do what we need them to do (What? You’ve never experienced this, EVER? Stop reading this now and call me, 217/351-2235. Seriously, I need your secrets!).

Cultivation means development, especially through education and training, per Dictionary.com (yes, I looked it up). In order for you to have more time, you need to cultivate your employees—essentially be their Miracle Gro—and help them grow into what YOU need, so that you can be successful and so your team, department, company, etc., can be the best.

Now, let’s go back to the title of this blog, Teach Them to Fish (So You Can Have a Break): Instilling confidence and assuring your employees that they have the ability to make decisions and solve problems on their own are keys to getting that much deserved break… and being left alone on your next vacation.

Learn how to cultivate your employees through our Leadership Series classes here or call 217/351-2235.

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[Jessie McClusky-Gilbert, CPP, is Program Manager for Parkland College Business Training.]

 

Hear, View History with Community Education

Parkland Community Education classes are challenging, dynamic, often fun, and, of course, always educational.  We engage students and the community in learning more about topics with which you’re familiar and in gaining new knowledge and experiences about topics you’re encountering for the first time.

We present our classes during times we hope are convenient for you, and we hold them in various, easily accessible locations.  Our listing is always available online at www.parkland.edu/communityed, or you can receive a printed listing by calling 217/353-2055.

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We have quite the treat for you this spring: an exciting tour of American Civil War history, led by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable historian! PLUS, we’ll take you on a trip to visit places well-known to then President Abraham Lincoln, and let you experience contemporary interpretations of the man in Springfield, Illinois.

365px-Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portrait

Since 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, Community Education is offering four occasions for you to listen, discuss, and debate the Civil War and the culture surrounding that time, with historian Christina Smith.

A master’s candidate at Illinois State University, Smith’s areas of interest, research, and writing include 19th-century culture, the American Civil War, and the post-war Reconstruction era.  Her passion for the subject takes her on yearly pilgrimages to Gettysburg, as well as most of the major Civil War battlefields.

Also, don’t forget to reserve your spot soon for our spring bus trip to visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum, the Old State Capitol, and Lincoln’s final resting place.

The Civil War history sessions and the trip information are posted below. Course dates, times, and registration fees vary.  Please contact Parkland Community Education for more information: 217/353-2055.

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North & South: Really so Different?  (1:30 PM — Tuedsay, February 24 — BTCE room J127)  Analyze the similarities and differences between the North and the South. How peculiar was the American South? What were many of the self-proclaimed Southern distinctions? Was slavery the only divisive factor?   fee = $9

Battle of Shiloh: Dividing the Nation  (1:30 PM — Tuesday, March 3 — BTCE room J127)  The Battle of Shiloh shocked the nation. April 6 – 7, 1862, were the  most devastating early days of the Civil War. Discuss and debate personal, cultural, and political perspectives and aspects of the War.    fee = $9

Epwpackard

Cultural Divisions: A Woman Not of Her Time  (1:30 PM — Monday, April 3 — BTCE room J125)  Elizabeth Packard was imprisioned and declared insane because she refused to conform to gender roles and traditional cultural and religious norms. Hear how she helped reshape the idea of womanhood in the mid-19th century.   fee = $9

LincolnTrain

Going Home: Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train  (1:30 PM — Monday, April 13 — BTCE room J127)  Possibly the longest train ride in American history began in Washington, DC, on April 21 and ended in Springfield, Illinois on May 3, 1865. Hear how the North/South political climate was changed, and the 1654-mile journey that brought the slain president back to the Prairie Capital.  fee = $5

Lincoln’s Life and the Presidential Museum  (8:00 AM — Friday, May 1 — departure from BTCE parking lot)  Travel to Springield and visit the Lincoln Presidential Museum, honoring America’s 16th president. Special exhibits, memorabilia, and unique performances make this museum a truly unforgettable experience. Continue the history lesson with a visit to the Old State Capitol and Lincoln’s Tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery.    fee = $39 (lunch additional)  registration deadline = April 17.

 

 

 

 

Boot Camp with Parkland College Community Education

Boot Camp with Community Education
Boot Camp with Community Education

I love to work out early in the morning. The best thing about it is that anything can happen during the day, and it is not going to get in the way of you getting your daily dose of exercise because you have already done it.

Parkland College offers a Boot Camp class through Community Education. It meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 6 to 7 a.m. with instructor Peg Olson. I have had the opportunity to fill in for Peg on occasion, and it is a great group of people who are very welcoming to newcomers.

Student Lynda Ramirez has taken many exercise classes with Parkland College, and she loves Boot Camp. Here’s what Lynda had to say about the Boot Camp class:

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Boot Camp had always intrigued me, but I didn’t think I was good enough to try it out. I met someone who was taking the class and found the courage to try it. That was more than a year ago! I regret that it took so long to find the courage, and wish that I had started a long time ago.

Boot Camp has something to offer everyone, no matter what the age, gender, fitness level or lack of fitness. Each person can work at their own ability level and put as much or as little into as they want; however, Peg Olson is able to bring out the best in everyone. The class is challenging for everyone, from the P90X guy to the person working out for the first time. Peg teaches modifications for every activity so that everyone can participate.

Boot Camp covers all types of fitness activities, both strength and cardio. Peg focuses on activities that incorporate as many muscle groups as possible. We don’t just do squats and lunges; we do them with a body bar held out in front of us. We don’t just run around the gym; we do it holding a weight over our heads. We don’t just do sit-ups; we do them with our feet up in the air holding a ball between our ankles. Peg never fails to find a way to make an activity more challenging!

I know that Boot Camp has made me a better person in many ways. I have made many friends and worked harder than I ever dreamed I could. At the age of almost 62, I can truly say that I am fitter and healthier than ever before. I have achieved goals that I didn’t think were possible. I will keep coming back every semester as long as I can. Fitness is important to every person, but I can attest that the older you get the more important it is. Exercise in the “second half” of life is no longer an option — it is a job. I want to be in the same wonderful shape as my mother who is 88 years old and walked eight miles with me last week.

Boot Camp is more than an exercise class. It is a family. The camaraderie is a major reason to keep coming back. New people are welcomed every semester and quickly made to feel part of the group. Everyone is encouraging and motivating. We celebrate each other’s successes. No one is more motivating and encouraging than Peg.

Boot Camp is a wonderful way to start the day. I feel like I accomplish more before 7 a.m. than a lot of people do in a day or even a week! I sometimes dread getting out of bed, but nothing beats the great feeling of making it through another class and the pride that I feel.

The next session of Boot Camp starts February 3, 2015. Registration is open now; call 217/353-2055.