Tag Archives: Parkland College Institute of Aviation

Community Day to help Parkland College Flying Team

Join the Institute of Aviation Flying Team for great pizza and to support a wonderful group of students Monday, May 9.

Supporters of the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College are invited to gather at Monical’s Pizza locations in either Champaign, Urbana or Mahomet for the Parkland College Flying Team “Community Day” fundraiser. “Community Day” is a perfect opportunity for you to support the team.

It’s simple: go online to www.monicals.com, click on fundraising, then “Community Day Calendar” and find this event. Print a flier for the event, and dine in or carry out.

Enjoy delicious pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches on Monday, May 9 and Monical’s will donate 20% of your check to the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College and the Flying Team. Just think, you will be supporting the team by simply going out to eat.

Since their start over 40 years ago, Monical’s Pizza has evolved into a community dining tradition for people in Central Illinois. Their continued dedication to the people and communities they serve enable groups like ours to succeed. For a flier or more information, please visit Monical’s website or email aviation@parkland.edu.

5 Observations from a College Recruiter

Life on the road can be fun (and exhausting) for a college recruiter.

My goal is to share the good word about the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College. Building a following takes time, and travel this fall has sent me in every direction in Illinois, and from Wisconsin and Missouri to Ohio and Indiana to Kentucky and back. I’ve put miles on my vehicle, passing the time singing to every Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift song I hear (yes, I admit I sing along, but it’s not my fault; they write catchy tunes).

I’ve noticed something interesting during these travels: While the venues change from day to day, the faces and questions remain similar. Wherever the road takes me, regardless of the state, I’ve come across homogeneity in prospective students and their families.

Based on my observations of these similarities, I’ll share five tips with you about college recruitment fairs (just in case you plan to attend one any time soon).

Observation 1: College fairs are a family affair

Dad with student, Mom picking up materials, grandparents along for the ride, and an older sibling explaining how it works: Let’s face it, college is a huge decision, and having the support of family plays an important role in a student’s college choice. I’ve seen overwhelming support from family members as they ask their student, “what do you want to do?” Refreshing, in my eyes.

Observation 2: Don’t be afraid

Without the push of family or friends, many students are afraid to talk to a recruiter. We don’t bite (well, at least not students)! Your first step to becoming independent is being able to speak for yourself, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, college will be a series of these types of interactions. Remember, I’m there to help you complete the picture you have painted in your mind about a school or program. I am real-life person standing in front of you—please come talk to me!

Observation 3: Do your homework

It’s not every day that you have 40, 50, or 300 schools all in one place and at your fingertips! Before accepting this great opportunity, then, you need to do a little homework. If your passion is aviation, then make sure you talk to all the aviation programs that are present. Prepare some standard questions you can readily ask each of them. This will give you a baseline for comparing programs and will help you make the most of your time while at the fair.

Observation 4: Don’t get stuck on the names

Students are stuck on the popularity of names. For example, they will spend several minutes waiting to talk to an institution’s rep just because they know them by name, even though they may have little to no interest attending in the school as a whole. “But it’s the flagship!” you might reply. Perhaps, but that is still no reason to attend a particular school; there has to be more intrinsic value for you than that.

Observation 5: Explore where you can thrive

I firmly believe you should throw rankings and popularity of names out the window and explore schools that will allow you to thrive not just as a student, but also as an individual. College is about coming into your own and becoming the best you can be. Find the school that can challenge you, allow you to be you, and reward you for your efforts. It is hard to describe, but there is a level of comfort you should feel when you step onto a campus or inside a department. School rankings can’t get you your dream career; while they may crack open a door for you, only YOU can walk through that door. Opportunity is everywhere, so find a place where you can thrive.

[Wendy Evans is the recruiter for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation.]

Dad, Daughter Learn to Fly at Parkland

Two generations of the McGuire family are experiencing the joys of flight training at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois this semester. Dave, a Champaign  business owner and daughter Emily, a junior at the High School of St. Thomas More, share their impressions of what led them to flying–and what keeps them there.

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Dave and Emily McGuire appreciate their Parkland flight training.
Dave and Emily McGuire appreciate their Parkland flight training.

Emily McGuire:  I had never been all that into aviation as a young kid. I didn’t think it was the cool thing to do, but my dad convinced me to try an event sponsored by the airport, and I immediately fell in love with the whole aspect of flying. I love the feeling of being up in the air and leaving any troubles I have on the ground.

Flying is also empowering; it is unique that at such a young age I can ask my friends to go for a ride with me, and mean a plane ride! I think that if I can do it, then anyone else can if they put their mind to it. I never would have realized how much fun it actually is unless I had taken that chance.

I obtained my private pilot’s license a couple of months back. I took my AVI 101 class in the summer before my junior year of high school and juggled a summer job as well. When school started back up again, I was able to work with my principal and teachers as well as my amazing flight instructor to get a schedule that allowed me to make it to flight classes and get the essential classes for school. Parkland was very flexible and understood my needs!

Dave McGuire: I have held my private’s pilot license for 20 years, and I recently made a serious commitment to get my instrument rating. Everyone is busy, and with family activities, work schedules, etc., earlier attempts to get the rating took a back seat. I made the decision to enroll through Parkland because:

1) The staff in the Aviation department have confirmed their passionate and capable reputation.
2.) The structured environment allows for the focus I need to work on new skills and the re-learning of old skills neglected.

I was apprehensive about putting my 50-year-old brain in a classroom with smart, talented “young” students, but our ground school instructor, Bill Jones, provided the appropriate environment. (I can’t say enough good things about Bill’s experience and teaching style.) I was challenged and made new friends. Although not my goal, I continue to challenge my flight instructor, Don Talleur. He’s fantastically patient. My goal is to be a safe, competent IFR pilot. When Don says I’m ready, I’ll be confident that I am.

I look forward to next semester.

Come Fly with Us: Open House, DuPage Airport

Calling all Institute of Aviation prospective students and alumni! You are invited to attend the Institute of Aviation Open House at the DuPage Airport on Saturday, April 18 starting at 1 p.m. The Open House will be at the DuPage Flight Center, 2700 International Drive in West Chicago.

Free fun flights are available for the first 10 prospective students to RSVP to aviation@parkland.edu. Be sure to RSVP soon, because a parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form if the prospective student is less than 18 years old.

Students will learn about what the Institute of Aviation has to offer, with our four pathways to an aviation career. Alumni and friends will learn about what’s been happening as we transition to Parkland College from the University of Illinois.

Our focus will be on prospective students from 1-4 p.m., and then we greet, meet, and field questions from alumni and friends from 4-7 p.m.

Stop by to meet current students and flight instructors, maybe take a fun flight, and learn more about the possibilities at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

High School Student Learns to Fly

[McKenzie Krutsinger, a Parkland dual credit student in Aviation, shares her thrill at learning to fly while still at Tolono’s Unity High School.]

Why Learn to Fly?
Learning to fly is extremely exhilarating. You get to be among the clouds and look down at all the towns, lakes, fields, cars, etc., and it’s so crazy. Every time I go up and look down on everything, it sort of brings the world into perspective, and I realize how big our world really is. You get an incredible amount of courage and sense of achievement when you’re on a cross country flight and you get to your destination right on time using only pilotage (the map and the compass). I truly think flying is something everyone should experience once in their lifetime.

How They Make It Work for Me
Since I’m in high school and play sports, I have to be taking enough classes to make me eligible. I need five classes. I had to ask my school board, IHSA, and Parkland College if I could take Aviation as a dual credit class. Thankfully, everyone approved.

I have a flight period scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, so instead of two classes at my high school, I get to leave in the middle of the day and go fly. It’s amazing. Afterwards, I go back to school for three hours, then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I go back to the airport for ground school. Last semester, I had ground school during my break from school.

I am so thankful for everyone at the Institute of Aviation for working with my schedule and allowing me to do this. If you want to fly and earn your private pilot certificate while still in high school, they will make it work. Everyone is so understanding and willing to make it work for you.

Reaching Toward My Future
I would like to use my pilot certificate and continue earning all my other ratings and certificates. The ultimate goal is to be either a commercial or corporate pilot. Women only make up about 7% of commercial pilots. I want to be one of those 7%, and I hope to see that number grow. We have quite a few females at the Institute and I love it. It’s so easy to connect with them. We all know we are the underdogs and we have to prove ourselves to everyone out there.

Amelia Earhart and Softball
Sybil Phillips helped me find a scholarship through the Amelia Rose Earhart foundation. I applied for the scholarship, and they paid for a fun flight for me to go on. After that, I actually ended up winning. It was a great feeling, but I couldn’t have done it without Sybil’s help. I’m also very active in softball; I play at my high school and for a travel team from Chicago. Softball is basically year-round for me. I earned a scholarship to play at Florida Institute of Technology. That is where I will be finishing out my flight school.

I’m so thankful for Parkland getting me a head start on my flying career. I’m glad I got the chance to experience this opportunity in high school because it helped solidify that this was the path I wanted to take. By solidifying that, I could start looking for schools I wanted to go to. If flying interests you at all, I encourage you to take a fun flight. You get to experience what your flight training might be like. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois has given me.