Tag Archives: Parkland College

Top Four Reasons to Earn an Online Business Degree

Thinking of studying to earn a degree in business? You might consider the benefits of taking your classes online! Parkland College offers business degrees, certificates, and classes you can take completely online. Here are the four top reasons an online business degree might work for you:

Flexibility. People are busy and their time is valuable to them. Online courses allow students to work at times that are convenient for them and stay on schedule to graduate, so they can advance their careers. Here is what a couple of our students had to say:

Parkland allows me to complete an entire degree by taking online classes. This is important to me as an adult with a full-time career.Robert M.

I only needed a few courses to complete my degree, and Parkland online courses have fit my busy schedule perfectly. I will be graduating this spring rather than having to take summer classes. I appreciate the freedom that online classes provide! – Julie P.

Opportunity. Parkland College prides itself with transferring students to top universities to continue their degrees, and with preparing students to move directly into the workforce. Local employers tout the quality of Parkland graduates.:

It has been my pleasure to hire many Parkland students over the last five years for the U of I Community Credit Union. These students possess the ability to adapt and learn their environment along with contributing to the team in their departments. Parkland students accept the challenge of learning and appreciate the environment in a workplace that allows them to excel. – UICCU staffer

Support. Parkland offers the same quality education and support to its online students that it offers at its campus. Our online students notice our commitment to our systems; they also notice our employees’ commitment to them.

They [Parkland] are continuing to update their systems for students to stay up on what is going on in the world.

Parkland staff is always helpful and knowledgeable whenever I have questions. When taking classes, I always feel as if the professors want you to succeed.

Affordability. Last, but certainly not least, Parkland students have the business savvy to notice a good deal when they see it.

I feel that the tuition is reasonable for all that a student really gets at Parkland, which includes the right education and tools I need to succeed in the workforce.

Parkland College’s online business apply to a variety of degree and certificate programs that can be completed without coming to a campus classroom. So, GO AHEAD, invest in yourself!

[Lori Wendt is the learning management system specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland College.]

Degree Completion Day

Are you a new Parkland student taking a few classes but not sure where those classes might take you?  Are  you a first-year student who hasn’t made a solid plan to get to graduation or a second-year student wanting to confirm you are in the correct last few courses?

ALL of you should attend Degree Completion Day.

Degree Completion Day takes place Wednesday, February 21 in the U building (Student Union) between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Here are some features of this great event:

  • You can learn about transferring to another institution for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Academic advising will be available.
  • Learn how to track your progress toward your degree or certificate.
  • Confirm your degree program.
  • Complete a Graduation Petition and turn it in for a formal degree audit.
  • Learn the difference between “graduation” and “commencement.”
  • Find out what General Education courses are and why you might need them.

Finally, come and get some giveaways and refreshments.  WPCD-FM will be streaming live!

Don’t spend any more time just guessing how to get through college or wondering why you’re here. Get real answers and get on track!

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

 

Heading to College? What’s Your ETA?

Parkland College is excited to offer District 505 high school and home-schooled students a great new opportunity to complete college general education courses while still in high school.

Parkland’s new Early Transfer Academy (ETA) is a fast track to college that gives students in their last two years of high school a new, structured opportunity to complete the general education courses required at nearly all four-year institutions. High school and home-schooled students age 15 and older  who meet Parkland’s reading, writing, and math placement requirements will be able to register for selected courses offered at times planned to fit their schedule.

  • Students in the first year of the two-year program will take classes with faculty who have incorporated learning skills into their curriculum. Students participating in the ETA will not only earn transferable college credit but will gain experiences that will increase their chances of success as they move on to a four-year university. While in the first year, students will gain experience in time management, online learning, academic planning, and organization of workload.
  • In the second year, ETA participating students will be able to choose from a wider range of general education courses that allow them take classes apart from the group. The two-year schedule helps students gradually become comfortable with the college environment, so that they are ready for the next step upon graduating from high school.

Courses offered through the ETA will fulfill the requirements of the General Education Core Curriculum as identified by the Illinois Articulation Act. This public act states that upon completion of the GECC, no student will be required to take additional lower-division general education courses at any public college or university in Illinois. All public colleges and most private institutions in Illinois accept the courses in the GECC. The GECC includes courses in humanities, fine arts, social sciences, mathematics, and physical and life sciences.

A high school student who enters the ETA as a junior could complete the entire GECC package by the time he or she graduates from high school. That same student could potentially complete an associate’s degree at Parkland in one year after high school and then transfer to a four-year institution with only two years needed to complete a bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, a student completing the GECC through the ETA could transfer those credits directly to a four-year institution and complete a bachelor’s degree in three years or less. Participation in the ETA could mean significant savings in college costs as well as a greater chance at college success because of the experiences gained on Parkland’s campus.

Who/What: The ETA is an early college program for high school juniors and seniors designed to help students move through coursework included in the General Education Core Curriculum requirements for college. Students will get a head start on their college degree/program completion and, at the same time, receive support from faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping students successfully navigate the transition from high school to higher education.

Where/When: ETA students will choose between a morning or afternoon track to complete three different courses each semester. Morning classes will meet 8–9:15 a.m. Monday–Friday, and afternoon classes will meet 4–5:15 p.m. Monday–Friday, at the Parkland College main campus in Champaign.

How: Registration is open to incoming juniors and seniors, 15 years of age or older. The registration window is February 1–June 1, 2018. Students will work with their high school counselors to complete the necessary registration requirements and determine dual credit eligibility. To register, students will need to submit:

  • a non-degree-seeking admissions form to Parkland College
  • a dual credit/dual enrollment request form
  • qualifying ACT or SAT scores, or complete the appropriate Parkland College placement test

Program Details:

  • Students can choose either the 8–9:15 a.m. track or the 4–5:15 p.m. track. Both have identical course offerings. Classes will meet M–F.
  • Students must meet the placement requirements for each course, either through Parkland placement testing, SAT, or ACT.
  • ETA Year 1 students will be in a cohort together.
  • Cost for the ETA will include Parkland College in-district tuition, fees, and books.
  • Payment plans will be available to help families distribute the cost throughout the semester. We are currently exploring scholarship opportunities but do not want to present that as an option until we are 100 percent certain funds will be available.
  • All courses meet the requirements set forth by the Illinois Articulation Initiative, meaning they are part of the General Education Core Curriculum and will transfer.
  • Friday classes are hybrid. This means that the class will meet every Friday, but 50 percent of the class will be conducted online, using Parkland’s online course management platform, COBRA. Through these courses, students will learn how to succeed in an online college course.
  • High schools will determine whether or not enrollment in ETA will simultaneously earn high school credit. The enrollment process will remain the same either way; the only difference is whether the student is granted high school credits.
  • ETA Year 2 classes will include life/physical science courses, mathematics, and communications.
  • Year 2 students will have more options for their schedule and will be mixed into classes with ‘general population’ students. Parkland will make every attempt to modify the Year 2 schedule if a student can earn dual credits through their home high school. For example, if a student is able to take a Year 2 class at their home high school, we will substitute another required course in its place.

***Parkland College is hosting an ETA Information Session on Monday, January 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Interested students and their parents are invited to attend to learn more about the program. Registration to the open house is available at parkland.edu/ETAopenhouse.***

[Nancy Sutton , Ed.D., is dean of the division of arts and sciences at Parkland College and one of the ETA coordinators.]

12 Tips for Winter Driving

As we head into the winter months, conditions on the road can become more dangerous. We need to make a few adjustments to our driving habits to make sure we’re safely reaching our destinations.

As a reminder of those adjustments, we’ve republished our January 2017 post on winter driving, below, which includes tips from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation website. Please give it a read.

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How can you keep safe on the road this winter? Here are the top 12 tips:

12. Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights—even the hood and roof—before driving.

11. Leave plenty of room for stopping.

10. Pay attention; don’t try to outdrive the conditions. Remember the posted speed limits are for dry pavement.

9. Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.

8. Bridge decks freeze first. Due to the difference in the exposure to air, the surface condition can be worse on a bridge than on the approaching road.

7. Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter, since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line. Be aware of this when exiting the highway.

6. Don’t use the “cruise control” option when driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

5. Don’t get overconfident in your 4×4 vehicle’s traction. Driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle may help you get going quicker, but it won’t help you stop any quicker. Many 4x4s are heavier than passenger vehicles and actually may take longer to stopWinter Driving

4. Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by cars and trucks will alert you quicker to problems and give you a split-second of extra time to react safely.

3. Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

2. Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows! Stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.

1. Most importantly, please, remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times; it’s the law.

[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

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.]

Parkland Students Excavate at Allerton Park!

Authored by Erin Riggs, PhD student and Parkland Field Archaeology instructor

Parkland Students who participated in the archeological field dig.

Exotic settings, buried secrets, treks through the jungle—these are all things you (and the typical undergraduate student) might associate with archaeology. We make this association because that is how archaeology is portrayed by such pop culture icons as Indiana Jones and Lara Croft. As Parkland’s field school students would be quick to tell you, there are usually snakes and spiders involved. Otherwise, this portrayal is not very accurate.

Actually, the majority of professional archaeologists in the United States are employed in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) and work domestically (Malloy 2017). CRM archaeologists survey areas that are about to be developed for construction. In these areas, they collect information on existing material heritage and steer development away from sites protected by law. Archaeology in America is primarily this: protecting and contributing to what we know about the the historic landscapes that surround us every day, under our streets, lawns, and public parks.

Students rarely learn about CRM archaeology when they attend a traditional archaeological field school. More often than not, field schools are located overseas and are marketed as study-abroad experiences (Boytner 2012). They also can be prohibitively expensive, ranging in cost from $1,000 to $6,000 (Perry 2006).  While these experiences can be incredible opportunities, they often leave students with little knowledge of the archaeological job opportunities and infrastructures here at home.

At Parkland College this summer, we wanted students to work on an archaeological project within their own community. We wanted our course  to be accessible to students who might not have the funds or time required to attend a field school abroad. We achieved these goals through collaboration with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS), the primary CRM group in Illinois. ISAS had recently surveyed Allerton Park in conjunction with a trail improvement project. Their survey work rekindled interest in a mound cluster existent on the property, Samuel’s Mounds. Allerton is a unique space within Illinois—an island of relatively undisturbed, unplowed forest land in the midst of a sea of agricultural fields.

Through our Parkland College/ISAS collaboration, students were able to assist professional archaeologists in excavating at this site in late July. They opened 1×1 meter square units around the mounds (leaving the mounds themselves undisturbed) to search for artifacts and features. We hoped to find something diagnostic that could help ISAS associate the mound group with a culture and time period. The materials are still being washed and inventoried. However, our first guess based on observations in the field point towards Middle to Late Woodland—meaning this site is likely 1,000 to 2,000 years old!

Parkland students worked hard and had a great time! In the process, they grew familiar with some of the quintessential features of CRM work—shovel testing, eating packed lunches in the field, the necessity of redundancy and precision in CRM paperwork, the tedium of a day without many artifacts, and the sheer joy of finally finding something of interest!

Here is what students had to say after completing the course:

“Although there were bugs buzzing around my ear every second, intense heat, and labor intensive digging, this field school allowed me to experience real fieldwork and gave me the satisfaction of unearthing an artifact which may help give context to these ancient mounds. I’m a bit sore, but I have greatly enjoyed this experience.” -Josh Boone (Senior, Anthropology)

“I never once thought I would be a part of an archaeological field school. But here I am, 5 days after leaving the field, and I am still thinking about the great experience I had! From our individual projects, to digging hand units, to shovel testing, I had a blast! It was tedious, and quite a few times I thought about backing down, but there is no quitting in archaeology! I learned so much over the past six weeks, and I’d do it all over again if I had the chance.” -Evyjo Compton (Senior, Animal Science)

“The experience I have gained from this field school has been excellent, and I plan to use what I have learned in my future. I have gained many valuable skills while also having a lot of fun. I am so very thankful that the Illinois State Archaeological Survey allowed us to assist them.” -Kaleb Cotter (Junior, Anthropology)

 

Cited

Boytner, Ran. 2012. “The Changing Nature of Archaeological Field Schools.” The SAA Archaeological Record 12 (1): 29-32.

Malloy, Maureen. ” Questions About: Archaeology As A Career.” Questions About: Archaeology As A Career. Accessed August 04, 2017. http://www.saa.org/ForthePublic/FAQs/ForAdults/QuestionsAboutArchaeologyAsACareer/tabid/975/Default.aspx.

Perry, E. Jennifer. 2006. From Students to Professionals: Archaeological Field Schools as Authentic Research Communities. The SAA Archaeological Record 6(1):25–29.

PRECS Summer Research “Invaluable” to Students

Ten science-focused students from community colleges across Illinois and two other states came to Champaign recently to participate in the inaugural summer of PRECS (Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students), a research experience for undergraduates program (REU) funded by the National Science Foundation. PRECS provides community college students with authentic research experiences in the area of phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon in which a single genotype produces multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Our summer program started with a two-week boot camp at Parkland College on May 24. The boot camp prepared participants for the eight-week research immersion portion of the program, where students became integrated into research laboratories at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The immersion portion ran through July 26.

PRECS is different from the NSF’s other REU programs in two ways. First, although most programs include research immersion experience, it is less common to have a boot camp. Second, many REU programs are designed for undergraduates in their junior and senior years, while PRECS is specially designed to meet the needs of community college students, who may not have had any research experience and relatively few college-level science courses. In fact, as far as we can tell, PRECS is the first NSF REU in the field of biology to be open exclusively to community college students and to have a community college faculty member as one of the creators and administrators of the program.

As our program wraps up, two PRECS participants,  Elliot Ping and Aaron West, share a bit about their experiences and what they are taking away from this excellent summer opportunity (below).

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“PRECS provided a platform for growth and learning, both academically and professionally, while also providing a candid look at what it’s like to be a part of a research lab. The program has been a whirlwind of learning opportunities (including the mistakes and frustrations that often come paired with them) from start to finish. These experiences, from the outright failures to the great successes, are all good preparation for what it means to be a person in research.

An average workday for me was 9 am to 5 pm, sometimes earlier or later depending on what we were doing. If we could only get a timeslot on the confocal microscope at 8 am or at 6 pm, for example, then the day would be adjusted differently. The specific project I was working on involved a lot of downtime between steps while things ran their course, so I had the opportunity to learn other skills (like R programming and other software skills), read papers, and shadow other members of the lab.

My favorite moment was when we finally got our antibodies to work. We were at the confocal microscope doing a continuous scan to get a look at the brain tissue, and we found real colocalized staining on the sample. It felt good to see my efforts come together and to get good images of something, especially after something like two weeks of repeated failure.

This summer, I have gained more perspective about science as an institution than I gathered through the entire course of my associate’s degree. Research is not the simple, straightforward thing many people think it to be. It is failing and trying again, or trying something else, until you get it right, and, like with most other things worth doing, it takes practice, patience, and outright stubbornness to gain the skills necessary to make success a possibility.

I will hold close to my heart for a very long time the relationships I have built and the education I have received, both formal and informal, from working and studying in the PRECS program. The opportunity to work, learn, and present, especially when coupled with the guidance of so many knowledgeable, experienced people, has been, and will likely continue to prove itself to be, utterly invaluable to my development as a student and as a professional-in-the-making in the sciences. I am so grateful to Parkland College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for working to make this opportunity for community college students possible. It has been a privilege to be involved with PRECS, and I would encourage any community college student who thinks research may be for them to look into this or other opportunities as something that can both broaden their horizons for the future and deepen their understanding and appreciation of the things they are learning in the classroom.”   — Elliot Ping

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“I am honored to have been picked to participate in PRECS (Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students). Coming from a community college located in the south suburbs of Chicago, I only had a vague sense of what being in a lab entailed. What PRECS would go on to teach me this summer is the community a lab has. Every lab is different, specializing in different fields, participating in different research.

PRECS has been a great program to participate in over the past 10 weeks. It has prepared a mindset geared toward graduate school. PRECS has exposed me to real-world scientific practices, and stresses. PRECS gave me a true experience, exposing me to what my life would be like after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. I feel more prepared moving forward with my education. Whether I go on to continue scientific research or not is not foreseen, but I know that it is a viable option.” — Aaron West

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For more information about PRECS, visit precs.igb.illinois.edu.

[C. Britt Carlson, PhD, is an associate professor of chemistry in the  Natural Sciences department at Parkland College.]

Art Rocks! at College For Kids

College for Kids has invited super-cool instructors to work with your kids this summer, like “Art Rocks!” instructor Kamila Glowacki. Kamila is pursuing her MA in Art Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she earned her BFA in Art Education and Painting in 2013. Her drawings, paintings, prints, and sculptures have been featured at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and local venues such as the Indi Go Artist Co-Op, the Art Theater, Common Ground Food Co-Op, and the Women’s Resource Center. And she loves getting kids excited about art! Kamila describes a bit about her work and the class below.

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Above: Jay Ryan poster for Polyvinyl Records’ 4-track single series. Featured image: Poster by Jay Ryan.

Over these next few days, I will be preparing screenprinted T-shirts, enamel pins, and other merchandise for an upcoming tour of the East Coast that my band is about to embark on. As an artist and musician, it has always been a fun challenge for me to design something that represents my music and put it on a shirt or CD. It’s an exciting feeling to see someone wearing something I drew!

Through this creative process, I have learned many practical skills that can be applied to artmaking as well as design. I’m excited to explore these skills with students who will soon take the “Art Rocks!” class at Parkland’s College for Kids summer enrichment camp.

In this class, we’ll design and screenprint T-shirts, create buttons, and zines, and design large-scale posters as part of the “Art Rocks!” class. As students participate, they will develop their own art skills as well as the freedom to create objects that can be duplicated and shared. Whatever T-shirt, storybook, or poster they might imagine will become an attainable item they are capable of creating themselves.

While many K-12 students have a chance to paint, draw, and sculpt, the opportunity to learn about specific artmaking methods and careers within the music industry is not likely to be found in school curricula. Throughout “Art Rocks!” we will look at the work of contemporary artists such as Jay Ryan who have made careers around concert poster or album artwork design. These encounters with contemporary artists will introduce students to the possible careers in the arts as well as encourage their interest in art and music.

I am looking forward to sharing these skills with students this summer, and I can’t wait to see what fantastic designs they create!

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College for Kids registration is open now! Check out our classes by visiting www.parkland.edu/btceRegister. Classes will be held Monday–Thursday, June 19–29 and July 10–20. Class times are 12:45–2:45 p.m. and 3–5 p.m. Tuition for each class is $159 and includes all supplies. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign. CFK inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and exploration.

Questions? Call 217/353-2055.

[Terry Thies is program manager for youth education with Parkland College Business Training and Community Education.]

 

Pathophysiology, the Bridge to Understanding

It’s one thing to know WHAT disease or injury a person suffers from. It’s another thing entirely to understand WHY he or she became sick or injured in the first place.

If you’re studying to be in a Parkland College Health Professions program, or even if you’re already in a health career, you may not yet have made the important connection that fits these two pieces of knowledge together.  In fact, most clinical programs in the U.S. acknowledge a slight disconnect between foundational health career courses and the applied clinical practice. What is needed, they recognize, is a ‘bridge’ of understanding that can answer the question: What has gone wrong within the basic anatomy and physiology of a particular patient to cause the disease or condition that they present with?

With a basic knowledge of pathophysiology, you can come to understand this link and be on your way to delivering better care for your patients.

Pathophysiology (BIO 225) is that bridge; this course describes the underlying disturbances in the basic homeostatic mechanisms that lead to the signs and symptoms of selected diseases. In other words, you can learn to determine what is it that causes the problems associated with congestive heart failure, glomerulonephritis, or a host of other maladies that we humans can get.  

Professor John Moore teaches BIO 225 this summer, and students find that he makes that health education-clinical practice connection lots clearer. One of his students commented:

I have learned some of the same material in my health career classes, but [Professor Moore’s] presentation of the subject matter makes it much more tangible. When he teaches, I get it. I never want to miss any of his classes.”

BIO 225 meets  Mondays and Wednesdays,  1–3:50 p.m., from June 19 to Aug. 10 in Room X104. For more information, visit Parkland College’s summer class schedule or go to the my.parkland student portal.

[Cindy Smith is program manager for Arts and Sciences at Parkland College.]

 

Internationalizing Parkland Curriculum: A Personal Journey

A few years ago, Parkland College Study Abroad Coordinator Jody Littleton challenged me to think about how my classes could be different and possibly even better through adding more cultural reflection. When teaching in the quantitative sciences, it is easy to overlook the power that curriculum infused with an international perspective can have on student learning.

I had fallen prey to the mindset that I just needed to “get through the material” as presented in the book and on the Course Information Forms. After ruminating on her suggestion, though, I realized that I might be able to teach specific topics better if I created well-thought-out assessments with a global outlook. Jody and I continued the conversation, and when several Parkland faculty partnered with Joliet Junior College to travel to China a month ago (March 2017), I joined in.

It was a trip of a lifetime that opened my eyes to what may have been missing from my teaching. For one, this trip made my feet itch with the desire to travel outside of the US for my professional development. How can I teach about unique nutritional deficiencies, different modes of physical activity in the world, living quarters’ impact on health, medical training, and more if I only have a book for reference? I also quickly realized that my perspectives on China had been missing critical pieces of information; once abroad, I was able to form a holistic picture of Chinese culture and better compare it to the US as well as other to countries I have visited. While many topics I had studied prior to my trip were “mostly correct,” visiting China clarified several misconceptions, gave me a new appreciation, and allowed me to better understand the full picture.

What I Learned During the Faculty Study Abroad

  • I was shocked to see how quickly China is becoming Westernized, to the point that McDonald’s delivers in many cities in China. At the train station waiting for the bullet train, there were two KFC restaurants as well as a McDonald’s in one moderate-sized train station.
  • At the farmer’s market, we saw many choices that we don’t see in the United States. Lamb intestine, cow stomach, chicken feet, and more were sitting out for purchase from morning until evening, with patrons bringing them home to cook for dinner. When we were invited to eat with the Nanjing Technical School faculty and deans, we were able to sample more of the local fair, including duck heads, a native delicacy. (In case you were wondering, you eat duck heads like oysters.)
  • Most places we ate at served food “family style” with a turntable in the center. Plates were significantly smaller than in the US. Because everyone is sharing, I didn’t want to take more food than would be socially appropriate, so, it encouraged me to eat more modest portions than I am accustomed to eating. I also learned that rice is often not served in China if the host would like to impress you with the quality of food offered. Rice is not the food of the rich. The rich eat a meat- and fish-based diet with significantly fewer vegetables than China has historically consumed. In turn, there is a marked rise in obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes.
  • Even on good days, the smog in some locations of China would impede my ability to see the sun and, possibly, my ability to synthesize enough vitamin D to meet my nutritional needs without supplementation/fortification.
  • Toilets in China are often similar to the stalls you see here.  We discussed that women would realistically need to retain the ability to perform a deep squat if they were to use a public toilet. However, it seemed of little concern as many older individuals in China had a greater range of motion than we see in the US. Possibly due to the toilets?
  • When we visited a local park at 10  a.m. during the weekday, we noted that many people engaged in exercise…dance, tai chi, fencing, badminton, etc. Retirees in China do not retire to the couch. They get out during the day to enjoy other’s company as well as keep active physically and mentally.

How What I Learned Changed My Curriculum

  • Now, in each module of my BIO 120 class (Fundamentals of Nutrition), students have the opportunity to present a module-specific cultural comparison between China and the US. During the digestive system module, students can discuss the incidence of specific GI disorders in China relative to the US. For example, a student researched and found a higher incidence of lactose intolerance/maldigestion in China due to both environmental and genetic factors.
  • My KIN 288 (Exercise Physiology) class is finding peer-reviewed journal articles comparing topics such as air quality impact on VO2max, changes in childhood obesity rates in response to Westernization, and the selection and training of Olympic hopefuls in China.
  • In all of my classes, students have the option of creating a video focusing on the cultural comparison between China and the US. We are partnering with our PCTV studio, and many of the videos will become available on YouTube mid-May.

Overall, visiting China was a surreal, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I constantly took pictures, spoke with locals, and absorbed all the nuances I could. Other Parkland College faculty who participated in this grant echo my sentiments, and we plan to collectively present  about our experiences this September. We look forward to sharing more of our perspectives then.

[An associate professor in  Natural Sciences, Toni Burkhalter was Parkland College’s Teaching Excellence Award winner for 2016].

Spring Graduation: Get What You’ve Earned

So, you have earned your Parkland College degree or certificate, AND you are not walking in the commencement ceremony this May; you’re moving on.

However, you can still graduate and receive the credential you’ve earned…and you SHOULD. Here’s why:

• You never know how soon your life may change. Get that degree awarded to your Parkland College transcript.
• You have no idea how proud your family will be seeing that diploma on the living room wall.
• Your children follow in your footsteps. Knowing you’ve graduated will increase their chances of graduating from college as well.
• It is an excellent accent to your growing resume.
• Many jobs require at least a two-year degree, so why miss that opportunity?
• Haven’t you always been told to finish what you started?

Stop by Admissions and Records today to fill out a Petition to Graduate! The deadline is Monday, April 10! You can find the petition in Admissions and Records under Forms or in the my.parkland portal. It’s not an automatic thing to receive your degree; the petition lets us know you’re finished.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

2017 International Cultures Fair

20th Annual International Cultures Fair 
Thursday, March 30, 11am–4pm
Parkland College Student Union

Photo by Heather Coit/The News-Gazette
Zilkia Guzman, a second-year Parkland Student, shows off the Henna work, created by Mahomet-based Zainab Susi, at the 19th annual Cultures Fair at Parkland College’s Student Union in Champaign on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

Everyone is invited to attend the Cultures Fair at Parkland College this Thursday. The event is free, and will feature an exciting lineup of musical artists and speakers from around the world. There will be a jerk chicken lunch in U140 to raise money for a new international student scholarship. Student clubs and organizations will also have tables with information and fun activities, including henna tattoos!

U140
11:30–1: JERK CHICKEN LUNCH, catered by Caribbean Grill (tickets $6; all proceeds go to a new International Student Scholarship).  Until the food runs out!

1:30–2:10 Japanese Tea Ceremony.  Japan House from UIUC will present Chado, the Way of Tea, which is one of the most time honored Japanese traditional arts. It encompasses all of the different Japanese art forms, aesthetics, and philosophy. Codified almost four hundred years ago by Sen Rikyu, the greatest tea master, the four spirits of tea signify the highest ideals of the Way of Tea: harmony, respect, purity, and tranquility.

3–4 pm: Campus Talk:  Professor Hua Qin from the University of Missouri-Columbia uncovers the relationship between migration and the environment in China and how this information may lead to better sustainability and policies in China.

Main Stage Student Union
11:00–11:45: Super Mazumzum: Playing Afro Beat, Soukous, Township Jive, Malawian Afroma, and more, Super Mazumzum is Champaign-Urbana’s premier African Jazz band performing music from artists ranging from Manu Dibango to Mafikizolo.

Noon–12:45: Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi: Congolese rumba with flavors of gospel, jazz and African rhythms. Bomoyi means “life” in the native language of Lingala. In addition to Lingala they sing in English, French, Kikongo, Swahili, and Tshiluba.

1:00–1:30: Gah Rahk Mah Dahng: Korean Traditional Percussion student club at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They play a genre called Samulnori, featuring four different instruments. These instruments were traditionally played together in prayer for good harvest. Nowadays they are often played for both musical performance and social protest.

2:00–2:45: Los Guapos: an instrumental quartet specializing in folk and popular music traditions of Latin America. The group performs a unique blend of Cumbia, Peruvian Chicha, Conjunto Cubano, and psychedelic rock styles.

Parkland Student Club Tables
English Conversation Club, German Club, Spanish, Study Abroad, Japanese Culture Club, Club Latino, henna tattoos, and more!

The fair is being sponsored by the UIUC’s Center for Global Studies, through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC program. Additional funding has been provided by the UIUC Center for African Studies and the Center for Latin American Studies as well as the Division of Arts and Sciences, the Counseling and Advising Center, and Student Government at Parkland College.

Middle, High Schoolers Coming to Science Olympiad at Parkland

Towers will be tested, robots will be reaching, and hovercraft will be hovering for science! The regional Science Olympiad competition will take place at Parkland College this Saturday, March 4.

The Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students from over a dozen area schools. Students will work hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and technology. Our awards ceremonies will be held in the Dodds Athletic Center beginning at 3:15 pm;  top teams will then compete at the state tournament, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 29.

During the regional tourney, each team will participate in 23 events spread out across campus. Our X wing will have students testing Rube Goldberg devices. Our gym will host students operating helicopters. Students will be using their wind turbines in our M wing. Others will be studying microbes in the L wing or looking at constellations in the Staerkel Planetarium.

The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science! Campus volunteers will be helping to run the events in this competition. For more information, contact Erik Johnson at ejohnson@parkland.edu.

[Erik Johnson is a full-time faculty member in Parkland College’s Natural Sciences department.]

 

New Flight Agreement: Trans States Airlines

Parkland College flight students will soon get a great new option for advancing their training toward commercial flying.

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College will sign an agreement with Trans States Airlines, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, that would accept our qualified flight students into its Aviators Program.

Parkland will sign the agreement during a ceremony at the institute this Saturday (Feb. 25) at 11 a.m. Join us for this important event.

Created last June for aspiring commercial pilots, the Trans States Airlines Aviators Program is a long-term internship for student pilots enrolled professional pilot training programs. The program identifies promising pilots early on in their flight training and begins preparing them for the Trans States Airlines flight deck while they are still in school through immersive, real-world experiences.

Students completing the program are eligible for a $10,000 tuition reimbursement as well as any recruiting bonuses offered by Trans States. These funds can be used to offset the cost of earning their certified flight instructor (CFI) designation.

This new agreement will help create certified flight instructors for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation and pilots for Trans States. We will join a selected group of aviation programs that will have this partnership, which allows our current students a pathway to commercial flying. The idea is that students complete their certified instructor training with the Institute, and then they continue to work for the Institute until Airline Transport Pilot certification minimums are met but still are very involved with Trans States.

[Wendy Evans is the aviation recruiter for the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.]

Are Your Firearms Safe? A Couple of Reminders

 

The Parkland College Department of Public Safety is here to provide a safe and secure campus environment conducive to learning. Every week throughout the year, we’ll be releasing a new public safety message, providing applicable information that you can use to stay safe and have a successful experience here at Parkland.

Our message this week:  Firearm Safety.

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About 1.4 million homes have firearms stored in a way that makes them available to the wrong hands—children, at-risk youth, potential thieves, and those who intend to harm themselves or others, according to a study by the RAND Corporation using statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you choose to exercise your rights to own a firearm, make sure you also keep that weapon safely out of the wrong hands. Proper firearm storage and reporting are essential to keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Storage Options. The most basic options for securing a firearm include a trigger lock, a cable lock, or a locked storage case. When used properly, these will prevent a gun from firing, but won’t keep it safe from theft. A lock box or safe that you can secure to the ground or wall will more likely keep your firearms from walking away, however.

Reporting. In the event that your firearm is lost or stolen, immediately reporting the theft or loss is of the utmost importance. You will also want to have firearm records on hand that you can provide to law enforcement, which will assist in locating and returning your firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) provides a downloadable form that you can use to properly catalog your firearms.

Gun ownership comes with rights and responsibilities, and we hope you will join us in working to ensure that a firearm never gets into the wrong hands. For more information, please visit safefirearmsstorage.org.[Ben Boltinghouse is a public safety officer with Parkland College.]

 

 

Why Go On A College Visit? Four Reasons

What’s so valuable about actually visiting Parkland College before you consider attending the school? Here are four good reasons:

  1. You can really visit the campus. Let’s be honest: the pictures you see in brochures are not always an accurate representation of what every part of a campus looks like.  Attending a campus visit allows you to see every part of campus, from the classrooms, to the cafeteria, to the library, and even parking.  You can see for yourself where students like to spend their time between classes, where the computer labs are located, or what clubs you can join.  You will learn so much more than you ever could from a college brochure.
  1. You can get your specific questions answered. What about this particular major?  What’s my financial aid status?  What tutoring opportunities are on campus for me?  Trust us, we have been asked some very interesting questions during campus visits!  Come armed with your list of questions, and we will make sure to answered them before you leave.
  1. You can talk with current students about their experiences. Learn what students like to get involved in, their favorite places to eat in the area, or what some of their favorite electives are.  Talking to Parkland College students is a great way to get honest feedback about the institution.
  1. You can see what campus is like on a regular day. Sure visiting the campus over the summer might be easier since you are on summer break, but the campus has considerably fewer students around then.  This might give you a false sense of what to expect campus life to be like.  Attending a campus visit day allows you to truly see how many students are on campus, how the parking can be, and even how long it might take you to get from one class to another.

Ready to come out for a Campus Visit Day?  RSVP here.

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Night in the Middle of Day

***Accommodations in southern Illinois are a hot commodity right now, filling up fast to see the August solar eclipse described below! Securing your reservations now at the Ondessonk Camp might be a good idea (It’s first come, first served), so we’re giving this blog post a very early send-out.***

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There are many experiences in nature that make you go “wow!” Maybe it is your first view of the Grand Canyon, or the ocean, or even a rainbow. But what is it about an eclipse of the Sun that draws so many people? Why do some “eclipse chasers” travel thousands of miles to see an event that can, at most, last seven and a half minutes?

If you are curious, you will get your chance this August, with very little travel required. On Monday, August 21 at 11:53 a.m., the Moon will begin to cover the Sun. The Moon will be completely in front of our Sun at 1:20 p.m., and “totality” will only last two minutes and forty seconds.

However, to see this total solar eclipse, you must travel southward. You need to be in the Moon’s shadow, which begins in Oregon and travels through the Midwest, on to South Carolina. This is the first coast-to-coast eclipse in our country since 1918! It is estimated that over 12 million people will either be in the eclipse’s path (including Kansas City and St. Louis) or will travel to the path.

Eclipse Explained
But what’s going on in August? Why is this happening? The Moon takes 29.5 days to orbit our Earth, which is our basis for our month, or “moonth.” During New Moon, the Moon is in the same area of the sky as our Sun, hence we only see the dark, unlit side of the Moon. The Moon’s orbit, however, is tilted five degrees to the Earth’s orbit.

To put this in perspective, if you hold out your fist at arm’s length and close one eye, one fist is about ten degrees. So a “half-fist” doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough that the Moon usually appears to pass above or below the Sun each month. This is why we don’t have solar eclipses at every New Moon and lunar eclipses at ever Full Moon. The Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun but it is also 400 times closer to us. Thus the Sun and the Moon appear to be the same size in our sky.

During times that the Moon does cut across the face of the Sun, the shadow of the Moon crosses the Earth, and those in the path will experience this grand event. There will be an eclipse this coming February 26 but you have to be in far southern South America or South Central Africa to see it. Which bring us to August 21.

How to View the Eclipse
If you want to see the eclipse, you must take precautions, as the Sun exhibits a blinding light. If you stay in Champaign County, 93 percent of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. While this is significant, 7 percent of the Sun will still blind you. There are several safe ways to observe the eclipse. The easiest is to locate some mylar eclipse glasses. The Staerkel Planetarium has these glasses for sale at $1 per pair. You are also safe if you have a #14 welder’s glass.

If you own a telescope, you can point the telescope at the Sun by using the telescope’s shadow. When the telescope is roughly aligned with the Sun, the shadow of the tube will look like a circle on the ground. Do NOT look through the telescope, but put a white index card roughly 6-8 inches behind the eyepiece and project an image of the Sun. Be wary of solar filters that thread into the telescope’s eyepiece! Here you are filtering the Sun at the point where the Sun’s brilliance is being focused. If the filter cracks, your eyesight is at severe risk. Appropriate solar filters attenuate the Sun’s glare before it enters the telescope.

There is also the age-old method of a pinhole camera. Hold two pieces of cardboard roughly 2-3 feet apart and put a pinhole in the sheet nearest the Sun. You should see an image of the Sun on the second sheet. Better yet, use a peg board!

Seeing the Total Eclipse: An Observing Opportunity
If you want to see the total eclipse and not a partial, you will have to head south. But where do you go? The maximum duration of this eclipse occurs near Carbondale. Good luck finding lodging in Carbondale! Any that might be available will be sold at an, shall we say, “inflated” rate. The University of Illinois Astronomy Department will set up shop in Goreville, south of Marion, Illinois.

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium is partnering with the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society and Twin City Amateur Astronomers (from Bloomington-Normal) to offer a weekend of observing from Camp Ondessonk (https://ondessonk.com), a Catholic youth camp located southeast of Marion and just south of Ozark, Illinois. The camp can provide rustic lodging and all meals for $115 per person. CUAS and TCAA will provide educational workshops on Sunday, the day before the eclipse, plus a dark-sky star party on Sunday night (weather permitting). Meals will be served in the camp dining hall. Tent camping is also allowed. If you would like to join us on our eclipse trek, you need to register by August 1. Point your web browser to https://ondessonk.com/event/2017-great-american-eclipse-event/ for more information. The planetarium will not be accepting registrations and there will be no event at the planetarium on the day of the eclipse.

Let’s hope for clear weather! IF we miss this event, the next “Great American Eclipse” will be on April 8, 2024!

The planetarium will be including information about the eclipse during our Friday night “Prairie Skies” star show. For more information on this event and how to observe it, go to the Staerkel Planetarium’s website and click on the image of the solar eclipse.

[Dave Leake is director of the William M. Staerkel Planetarium.]

Image from NASA.gov, with credit: Steve Albers, Boulder, CO; Dennis DiCicco, Sky and Telescope; Gary Emerson, E. E. Barnard Observatory

Seville Spain Street Performers

Enjoy some Seville, Spain, street music today, compliments of Scott Barnes, one of our study abroad students in Spain. Sign up for study abroad and you can experience these wonderful performances in person!

Contact Jody Littleton at jlittleton@parkland.edu or 217/351-2532 today.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/oM4m0c8p1GI

Know Where to Go for Flamenco in Seville, Spain!

This blog is from Christopher Scott Barnes.  He is studying this semester in Seville, Spain.  We offer study abroad here and many other places!  If you are interested in Study Abroad, contact jlittleton@parkland.edu.

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When gypsies arrived in Spain in the 15th century, they brought with them a style of song and dance that later developed into what is considered today as contemporary flamenco. flamenco-sign

The tradition became popular in Spain throughout the 20th century, as the “gitanos” began performing for tourists here in Seville and other cities.

In multiple locations, visitors can still see the famous “tabloas,” in which performers display a spectrum of intense emotion through song and dance. One of the best spots in the city for flamenco is at the Museo del Baile Flamenco, which is where I was lucky enough to enjoy a proper show for the first time.flamenco-4

Accompanied by ICS professor Judy Cotter, a small group of students and I sat front row for an intimate performance. Afterwards, I was able to meet the star of the show, Victor Bravo, who is also the dance director of the museum. When I asked him if he could provide me with a quote about the show that evening, he replied by telling me that flamenco cannot be summed up in a few words or a couple of sentences.flamenco2

The art has a rich history and has played a significant role in Spanish society for many years. The Jewish and Arabian influence that makes up the culture of southern Spain can easily be felt in the singing, which is accompanied by Spanish guitar. The flow of it all is directed by the movement of the dancers who keep time by stomping their feet, clapping their hands and rattling castanets. The rhythm of the show varies as each performer takes their turn in the spotlight.  The volume goes from a hush to a crescendo as the performers show individual style as well as collective coordination.

It all adds up to an authentic, theater-like event and an evening that is worth the time and money. I highly recommend that future students experience flamenco while they are in Seville. I also recommend having dinner at Bar Estrella just around the corner from the museum. Que rico!

flamenco-1flamenco-3

 

Morocco: Gateway to Another World

Scott Barnes, a Parkland student, is living in Seville, Spain for a semester study abroad. As part of his study abroad experience he visited Morocco. I am looking forward to what he has to say!

Remember YOU can study abroad too.  We have lots of different experiences. Check out our study abroad options at http://www.parkland.edu/international/studyabroad

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When I first arrived in Europe, I knew very little about the history of the various countries in it and had very little knowledge about the many cultures that exist here. Other than the secondhand information I received via the media throughout the years, I didn’t have much of an idea about libarnes-blog-2016fe abroad.

The differences are what I noticed first and foremost, and those differences are what most students struggle with, initially. Changing mealtimes and sleep habits as well adjusting to the foreign way in which people greet each other and conduct themselves requires some time to understand and get comfortable with.

Despite the differences, there is a lot that Americans and Europeans have in common. Those similarities were brought to light after I took a trip to Morocco.

I hadn’t realized how much the way in which I live echoes the European way of life until I spent some time in the Rif Mountains. The social norms that westerners share exist to a lesser degree in northern Africa. For example, it is uncommon to see men and women together in a public setting and much of the daily routine is centered around practicing religion.

barnes-blog-3Although my visit to Morocco was very short, it had a significant impact on me. Rather than providing a detailed, firsthand account of the various activities that the International College of Seville planned out for our trip, I prefer to share with you what I found to be truly rewarding about the experience. It is wonderful to have pictures of riding camels and eating in authentic Moroccan restaurants, but what is more valuable is the perspective that is gained from visiting different countries and meeting new people. The stimulation that comes from trying to understand a different way of life or to see the perspective of things through another cultural lens has been life-changing for me.

The name of the game in the touristic areas of Morocco is buy and sell, and merchants love to engage in the act of negotiation. There are no set prices and the bargain to be had is largely determined by the ability of the buyer to be resolute. The confidence of knowing a low price has been paid may be confirmed by the statement, “you haggle like a Berber!” The country is a great place to purchase gifts for friends and family back home and that seems to be the objective for most of the tourists who visit. The products offered vary from handmade gifts and food to just about anything they think people might want to buy.barnes-blog-5

To my surprise, many Moroccan people know English and speak it very well. It is necessary when dealing with foreigners, and their linguistic capability is impressive. Many of them learn English at a very young age and likely have been speaking more than one language since they were children. In fact, it is normal for Moroccan people to speak three or four different languages; English, French and their own dialect of Arabic are the most common. I found that after the exchange of money was complete, the sellers were more open to conversation. A lot about their culture was conveyed in those brief interactions, and it was easy to feel their affection and see the kindness in their eyes.

barnes-blog-4Superficially, consumerism is obviously a part of their way of life, and tourism certainly supports the economy, but there is much more to the culture and history of Arabian people. There are stories behind the faces in the shops of the medina, or “Old Town,” district of Tetouan, or within the painted blue walls of Chefchaouen. There is a way of greeting people, of falling in love, of raising children, and of experiencing life that is unique to the culture.

I have found that tasting the different flavors, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, and smelling the scents of various cultures is enlightening. The best way to learn about other countries is to visit them. Sharing face to face conversations is rewarding, even if the interaction is minimal.

barnes-blog-2Moving beyond being a tourist and finding commonality with people of another race is what is truly beneficial about traveling. Also, to tell the story of the person who sold you the gift makes the act of giving it more enjoyable. I may have left with a pair of high quality, handmade Moroccan leather sandals, but the real present is my new found view of the world and my life.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of studying abroad is the easy access to other worlds and the subsequent comprehensive understanding of culture that results from those adventures.

Three Good Reasons to Take an Online Course

Usually, when you see this headline, you expect to see reasons like “greater convenience” or “lower costs” or “a more comfortable learning environment.” And while all of these are true, here are three reasons to take an online course you might not have considered.

1. Technology education. Most, if not all students will be working with “others” sometime in their future careers. To be successful, the use of technology is very important. Taking online courses now at Parkland College helps prepare you to communicate with others using today’s technology, including virtual meetings and collaborations through email and social media devices. Business and management instructor Mark Kesler says he encourages all of his students to be comfortable in the online learning environment: “I highly recommend all my students take at least one online class before they leave Parkland.”

2. Cultural diversity. Students all around the world take Parkland’s online courses. By enrolling in an online course, you get the chance to meet students from other countries. Students benefit mutually from learning about each others’ cultures and educational and life experiences. Often, you can get a “study abroad” experience without leaving the comfort of your own home.

3. Career skill-building. Taking an online class requires discipline, punctuality, and self-motivation, all excellent skills to have in the workforce. Online courses create a solid foundation that prepares you for your next step, whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution or starting your career.

So, while online courses are recommended for their quality instruction, transferability, and affordability, they offer so much more than just that for students. Online courses can provide a broad experience that shapes the future of your employment and life goals.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead, sign up for an online class today!

[Lori Wendt is the learning management system specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland College.]

***Parkland celebrates National Distance Learning Week, Nov. 7-11.***

Study Abroad Spain: The Experience is Sinking In

Communication major Scott Barnes’ new study abroad acquaintance Corey Davis learns he should live life back home like he’s living it in Spain. “Get off the couch and quit watching Netflix,” I think, is a great message for all of us! Check out Corey’s interview below.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.

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The experience of living in another country is really beginning to set in, and most of the students at ICS are starting to understand how this program is changing the way they think and live. Corey Davis provides some wonderful insight into that phenomenon in this short interview.

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***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

China Study Abroad: The Dining Experience

I asked Ryan Mills, a study abroad student from Parkland College who is currently in China, to send me some reasons why students should study abroad in China. Ryan is so enthusiastic that he sent me quite a list! The first reason to go to China, according to Ryan? Food!

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.

Plus, travel to China through two study abroad options:
Summer 2017 travel to Nanjing, Beijing, and Shanghai (June 1–15)*
Fall 2017 option available in Xian, home of the Terra Cotta Warriors.

Scholarships available for summer 2017 to degree-seeking students if they take 8-week WCE 364 001 (Conversational Chinese), which meets March 27–May 15 (M 6:30–8:30; cost is $139 with textbook  included).

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Who doesn’t like food? Imagine eating at your favorite Chinese restaurant almost every day but ten times better. The food is fantastic and very affordable.

china-foodGet ready to put the fork down and pick up the chopsticks. If you get tired of Chinese food, there is always Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, and KFC to reach your inner American, (all chains actually taste way better in China than they do in America).

Eating at a restaurant with friends is different than back in the States. Part of the culture in China is to share everything you have with others, especially the food. When you order food, you don’t get a single dish for yourself, you share all dishes with the people at the table, get a little piece of everything, and split the fare evenly. It’s awesome.

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***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

 

PRECS: A new opportunity for community college students

How does the environment affect plant and animal development? An exciting new research opportunity for community college students coming to Parkland College this summer will give students a look at some of the answers.

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-12-27-14-pmCalled PRECS, or Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, the program is designed to provide community college students with authentic research experiences in the area of phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon of a single genotype producing multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Parkland’s Dr. C. Britt Carlson and Dr. Nathan Schroeder of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the program’s creators, recently announced that PRECS will be up and running May 24 to July 26, 2017. PRECS was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Overview

The 10 community college students who will be chosen to participate in PRECS will be paired with research mentors at the University of Illinois, working on such projects as:

  • the interaction between genotype and ozone pollution on maize growth
  • the effect of environmental stress on neuroanatomy
  • the interactions of genes and environment on fish behavior

1) Boot Camp
To tailor to community college students, who may not have had any research experience and relatively few college-level science courses, PRECS starts with a 2-week “boot-camp” to prepare students to conduct research at the University of Illinois.

2) Research Immersion
After this preparation, students enter an 8-week research immersion program at the University of Illinois.

3) Presentations
Students will then present their research at their home community college as well as at an undergraduate research symposium on the University of Illinois campus.

Program Benefits

Participation in a program like PRECS is a great way for students to gain experience, create new contacts, explore future careers, and build their resumes:

  • Throughout the program, student participants will gain hands-on experience, learning while they explore the world of research science. PRECS provides students with the background needed to be successful in a research laboratory and an opportunity to use those skills doing real science at the University of Illinois.
  • Participants will work closely with UIUC researchers and other community college science students, creating a network within their professional field.
  • Participation in this program will be a great resume-builder, as students will be able to show future academic institutions and employers evidence of their expertise in the sciences and their ability to take initiative, work independently, and work collaboratively.

PRECS also provides students with a $5,500 stipend for participation in the program. Housing, food, and travel (if needed) allowances are also available.

Eligibility

Students interested in participating in PRECS must be attending a community college, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and have completed General Biology I (General Chemistry I is also preferred). PRECS encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups.

Applications for summer 2017 are due March 15. For more information on PRECS, please visit precs.igb.illinois.edu.

[Dr. C. Britt Carlson is an associate professor in chemistry at Parkland College.]

Study Abroad Spain: Morocco, and a Friend

Communication major Scott Barnes’ introductory video to  his life-changing educational experiences in Spain happened more than a month ago now. In his latest video, Scott gets ready to visit yet another country and lets you meet a new friend he has made from the states.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.

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My study abroad program is in its fourth week, and the weather is still quite warm in southern Spain. There are multiple trips that take place throughout the semester, and one of the most exciting excursions is this weekend – Morocco!

 

***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

Top 6 Reasons to Activate Your SALT Account

new-salt-logo

Your free SALT account from Parkland College is waiting, and if you’re still skeptical about joining, here are six awesome reasons to get off the fence and start getting money-savvy.

  1.  It’s FREE – Like, really free. Parkland College hooked you up, so all you have to do is activate.
  2. It can find you free money – Want to tap into millions in scholarship money? Yeah, SALT can help with that.
  3. It builds your skills – Learn budgeting skills that will keep you in control of your cash for life.
  4. It can help you land a job – Get inside tips to grab an internship now and a job after graduation.
  5. It’ll tell you how to own your loans – Show your student loans who’s boss with easy tools to track and manage them.
  6. It’s FREE – Did we mention it’s totally free?

To activate your SALT account join now at:

What does “SALT” mean, anyway?
Back in the day (way, way back in the day), salt was the universal currency. It’s why SALT goes back to the basics to give you universal information, neutral advice, and smart strategies to help you take control of your money.

[Dawn Kamphaus is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

Don’t Let a Good Degree Go to Waste

Many transfer students leave Parkland College before receiving their transfer degree. They often tell us 1) they thought it was done automatically or 2) officially graduating didn’t matter because they were pursuing their bachelor’s degree.

Here are our replies to those thoughts:

  1. Unfortunately, there is no way for Parkland College to graduate you “automatically,” because we need to know when you’ve finished and then perform a degree audit to make sure you’ve completed all the required course work.
  2. The idea that your transfer associate’s degree doesn’t matter couldn’t be more wrong. For example, your Parkland degree can make your transition to a university much easier by expediting your general education credits. Plus, you’ve earned this academic credential!

So, do you think you’ve earned enough credits at Parkland to receive your degree?

To be sure, login to my.Parkland and select Academic Profile (under “WebAdvisor for Students”). From there, you can conduct a degree audit yourself. Alternatively, you can contact Counseling and Advising to assist you.

It’s not too late to see if you “forgot to graduate!” Contact Dennis or Beth in the Admissions office, at 217/353-2634, or call 217/351-2887 for any questions.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland College Admissions and Records.]

 

5 Reasons Why You Should Study Abroad

Hopefully you’ve already seen Communication major Scott Barnes’ introduction last week, as he began his life-changing educational experiences in Spain. In this latest post, Scott entices all students to try study abroad, listing some fabulous reasons for doing so.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.

Enjoy some tapas for me, Scott!

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I now have firsthand knowledge of what culture shock is! But I also know that it just takes a few deep breaths and a little bit of time to overcome it. Despite the difficulties of living day-to-day life in a foreign country and speaking a language that is relatively new to me, I have survived. I have just completed week number two of my first semester studying abroad, and the experience has been all I thought it would be and more.

I have been in Seville, Spain, for 14 days and am already beginning to see how this experience will impact the rest of my life. I have spent the last year of my life contemplating pros and cons, researching Spanish culture, practicing the language, and wondering if the investment is worth it. I can say with confidence that it is!  I made a serious commitment and left behind the comforts of home in order to further my education, and I recommend every college student do the same. There are many reasons why studying abroad is a wise decision. Here are just five of them.

Resume. Students whose main objective for pursuing a college degree is to increase employment opportunities should put study abroad at the top of their list. The workplace is becoming increasingly diverse, and companies are looking for employees who have an understanding of other cultures. Therefore, a solid candidate is one who possesses intercultural competency and an ability to speak multiple languages, two skills that are immediately put to the test when studying in a foreign country.

Immersion. There is only so much a student can learn sitting at a desk. The classroom is a great setting to gain knowledge about any given field of study but, as many students already know, learning how to apply that knowledge is essential to developing a career. The process of learning a new language is much the same. I have taken three Spanish courses at Parkland and have spent hours memorizing vocabulary and verb conjugation. I’ve learned more about the language in the last two weeks than I did during those three semesters. Studying was a great way to prepare myself but actually being immersed has forced me to understand the nuances and begin to think in a “Spanish” way, which has been a truly stimulating experience for me.

Networking. In the short amount of time I’ve been here in Spain, I have already made new friends as well as professional acquaintances. In my opinion, meeting new people and increasing the Rolodex is just as important to career ambitions as developing a well-rounded portfolio or an impressive resume. To have contacts in other countries increases the reach of my social circle. It also fosters more global awareness and provides different perspectives on worldly issues. My social and professional life will be forever changed because the connections I’ve made here.

Culture. Spending a significant amount of time in another country gives students the benefit of moving beyond the limitations of being a tourist and helps them adopt new ways of thinking and living. I began my journey in Paris, France, and have been to multiple cities since then. I have been lucky enough to spend time in different houses and hostels around France as well as in Madrid and Barcelona. I spent at least a few days in each location and made an effort to interact with the locals, which has actually been pretty easy to do! Studying outside of America has helped me realize what it’s like to be a foreigner as well as develop a better understanding of my own culture. I’ve also gotten an outside perspective on the United States and how American culture is viewed here in Europe. I think that this insight and knowledge is very beneficial to my intellectual development and is valuable to me no matter what career path I choose to take. Interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds has been enlightening in many ways for me.

Experience. Studying abroad has presented me with a myriad of challenges. Whether it was dealing with the feeling of being homesick or confronting the uneasiness of culture shock, these adverse situations provided me an opportunity to grow and have boosted my self-confidence. I have bonded with travelers from all over the world as well as other American students who have had the same kind of experiences. In many ways, studying abroad is a good excuse to visit new lands and learn about new cultures. Once inside Europe, it is relatively cheap and easy to travel to multiple countries and experience multiple cultures. There are many new activities and customs to experience that aren’t available in the States. All of this adds up to a rewarding and enriching experience for those who are curious about the world and a new way of life different than what they are accustomed to.

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***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

Parkland Study Abroad: Meet Scott Christopher

What’s the first thing a student tells me when they come back from study abroad? This was the best experience of my life and has changed my life forever.” I encourage you to follow Communication major Scott Christopher Barnes on his life-changing experience abroad and live vicariously through him until you can go on your own Parkland study abroad! In this first video, Scott introduces himself and a few new friends.

Remember, anyone can study abroad; I have people of all ages and backgrounds go on these trips. We have 10-day, 4-week, and 15-week programs available at a variety of times in the academic year.


***The Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs and Parkland College work together to provide opportunities for Parkland students to study abroad. Multiple programs in various countries are available every semester. Students interested in enrolling should contact study abroad coordinator Jody Littleton via email at jlittleton@parkland.edu for more information.

Why Parkland Land Surveying is Top Trainer

If you’re looking for one of the nation’s top land surveying educators, look no further than Parkland College. We recently earned the 2016 NCEES Surveying Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Just 10 universities or technical institutes across the country won this inaugural award, and Parkland was the sole Illinois school earning the distinction.

So what makes our Construction Design Management: Land Surveying program an important choice for those pursuing professional licensure in surveying? I asked 2014 program graduate and Army veteran Jim Harpole, now project manager at JLH Land Surveying Inc. in Plainfield, to share his perspective on that. Here’s what Jim had to say.

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Strong foundation, ideal environment. The Land Surveying AAS program gave me the strong foundation I needed to succeed in my surveying career. Thanks to the wide range of topics and challenging curriculum, I was given an opportunity to experience different survey applications and an insight into the possibilities that a career in land surveying offers. The Parkland College campus is well-suited for the application and practice of land surveying.

Parkland Land Surveying students work on equipment.
Parkland Land Surveying students work on equipment.

Real-world experience. I especially benefited from the many off-campus projects that the program undertakes, projects like creating topographic surveys for the Monticello Railway Museum and establishing the photogrammetric control network for Champaign and Piatt counties. We even did the property boundaries for a few Habitat for Humanity projects in Monticello.

Students in the program also work with various types of software platforms and surveying equipment in current use. The experience that Parkland graduates possess greatly improves their marketability and brings recruiters from all over the Great Lakes region.

Reaching out, giving back. With the average age of licensed surveyors somewhere in the upper 50s, the land surveying profession is currently facing a large age gap, due to both the increase in educational requirements and a lack of public outreach to bring in more young people. The Parkland College Land Surveying program continues to play a vital and leading role in Illinois and the surrounding area by reaching out to high school programs; supporting the Boy Scouts of America by hosting a surveying merit badge; and assisting with logistics and judging for Illinois FFA sectional and state agricultural mechanics competitions, hosted annually on the Parkland campus.

Parkland also works with the University of Illinois’ Engineering program, which accepts CIT 255 Engineering Surveying course credit from Parkland as junior/senior engineering credit.

Helpful faculty and staff. I had such a great experience while at Parkland. Every instructor I had during the two years I spent on campus was always approachable and willing to set aside their time to assist me in understanding the coursework. As a student veteran, I was especially pleased with the service I received from the Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.

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***For more about the Construction Design and Management: Land Surveying AAS degree and certificates visit parkland.edu/academics/departments/est/construction.aspx***

[Todd Horton is program director for the Construction Design and Management programs at Parkland College.]

HS Students Invited to Try Ag/Engineering/Tech Jobs

Regional high school juniors and seniors will soon compete in pit crew contests, spark plug challenges, carpentry contests, and other hands-on events introducing future career options in agriculture, engineering, and related technologies.

The annual Parkland College Agriculture/Engineering Science and Technologies Open House is happening Friday, October 14.

Parkland’s state-of-the-art lab spaces will host the day’s events. The Parkhill Applied Technology Center, the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center, and the Construction Education Alliance (Parkland on Mattis) simulate on-the-job conditions using industry-recognized equipment.

Students will choose two innovative sessions from automotive; collision repair; diesel power; electrical power; industrial technology and welding; construction management; engineering science; and agriculture, precision ag, and horticulture. Each session will last 40 minutes and provide a hands-on, career-exploration activity.

High schools are encouraged to bring groups of interested students. However, parents/guardians are also invited to bring their high schooler to the event should the local high school choose not to participate. Every participant will receive a free T-shirt and lunch.

Please visit www.parkland.edu/agestopenhouse for more information and to register. Registration is required by September 28.

Top 5 Things to Do at Campus Visit Day

Seniors, still undecided on where to attend?  Juniors, wanting to get a head start on your college planning?  Here are the top 5 things to do while attending Parkland’s Campus Visit Day on September 23 or October 10.

Top 5 Things to Do While Attending Parkland’s Campus Visit Day

  1. Speak to students who are currently attending Parkland. Get an idea of campus life, student clubs and organizations, and much more! Do your parents have questions about safety?  Do you wonder where the best place is to live or just where to get the best cup of coffee? Ask our students! You will really get the inside scoop from students who made the decision to attend this amazing campus. Get an idea of why Parkland was the best choice for them.
  1. Worried about the price of college? Find out how much it is going to cost you to attend Parkland as well as residency information and learn how to finance college through scholarships, grants, and loans.  This will save you from any surprises down the road!
  1. Tour campus! Campus tours generally give you much more info than you could see if you walked a campus on your own.  Not only will you see classrooms, cafeterias, bookstore, labs, art gallery, and much more, you also learn about services on campus for you to utilize and fun facts you may have never known!
  1. Meet one on one with an Admissions advisor to get all of your specific questions answered! We know that you and your parents have many questions, and we are here to answer them and make you feel as comfortable as possible.
  1. Apply to be a student! Get a step ahead of your peers and fill out an application while on campus. That way, if you have any questions while filling out the application, the pros will be right there to answer your questions! Visit our Application Station and complete an application onsite!

Ready to visit?  RSVP here: http://www2.parkland.edu/forms/admissionsRSVP/campusvisit.html.

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Degree Completion Day, Sept. 27

Parkland College’s next Degree Completion Day event is coming Wednesday, Sept. 27.

But you might ask, “Why should I graduate? I’m getting my bachelor’s degree in a couple of years.”  Here why:

  • Who wants you to graduate? Your parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins, best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, favorite Parkland Instructor, advisor—all those that care about you, that’s who. It’s not always just about what you want.
  • You have spent countless hours in class and trip after trip to Parkland. Why wouldn’t you want to graduate?
  • It looks good on your Parkland transcript, shows accomplishment on your resume, and can enable you to move up in the workplace. If you are transferring to a university, it can make for a smoother transition and save you from having to take extra general education courses at that university.
  • If you are completing a career program, graduation may be required to verify with future employers. Probably most important of all, you’ve earned it!

Come out to Degree Completion Day in the Student Union (U building) from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and find out more about graduating and how it could benefit you.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

 

Fall Means…FAFSA!

A change is in the air! It’s time for falling leaves, new school supplies, pumpkin spice lattes, and… FAFSA?

That’s right! The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is changing this year. Now you no longer have to wait until January 1 to complete next year’s application (sorry if I’ve ruined your New Year’s Day plans)! Starting October 1, you will be able to complete your FAFSA application for next school year (that’s fall 2017–spring 2018).

And not only can you now do the FAFSA sooner, but it should be easier to do as well.

In the past, the FAFSA has required information about your income from the previous tax year. For example, if you complete the FAFSA for the current school year (fall 2016–spring 2017) you would have needed your income and tax information from 2015. The new FAFSA will require tax information from two years prior. So when you fill out your 2017-2018 FAFSA (on October 1, of course) you will use your income and tax information from two years ago… as it happens, from 2015. The 2017-2018 FAFSA is the only FAFSA that will use the same income information as the prior year’s FAFSA.

Why is this so great? Because hopefully by now, especially if you have already done a 2016-2017 FAFSA, you already have all the 2015 income and tax information you need to complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA. In the past, the new FAFSA became available on January 1, but most applicants weren’t able to finalize the process until they completed their tax returns, generally at least a month or two later. So not only can you start the FAFSA earlier, but you will be much more likely to have all the information needed to complete it in much less time than previously.

Parkland’s Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services would like to encourage all students to fill out the FAFSAs as early as possible. There are a number of great reasons to do so:

  1. Getting your paperwork done early means you’re in less of a rush to complete everything when school is starting and deadlines are looming. Save yourself the stress!
  2. Get a head start on finding out what you qualify for. When you complete a FAFSA, the application provides an estimate of what types and amounts of awards you may be eligible to receive. This can help you plan in advance how to afford college.
  3. Filling out a FAFSA early may qualify you for more financial aid funds. Some financial aid programs, such as Federal Work Study and the Illinois MAP grant, can only be awarded to a portion of the students who are eligible. The students who submit their FAFSAs to Parkland the earliest are more likely to receive these awards.

So take a break from enjoying the changing weather and the thrill of a new semester, and set a reminder to complete your FAFSA on (or as close as possible to) October 1.

Complete the FAFSA online here: https://fafsa.ed.gov/

Questions? Contact Parkland’s Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services at 217/351-2222 or visit our webpage.
[Julia Hawthorne is an advisor with Financial Aid and Veteran Services at Parkland College.]

5 Reasons Why Everybody Should Play Guitar

1. It’s one of the world’s most popular instruments. Millions of people play guitar, so you’ll always have a friend to play music with or somebody to help you learn to play a little better.

2. A little guitar goes a long way. Learn how to play a few chords and a basic strum, and you’ll be able to play hundreds of songs.

3. It’s incredibly versatile. Guitar styles range from classical to heavy metal to country to jazz. Almost any music that you enjoy can be played on the guitar.

4. You can progress quickly. You can go from playing just a few chords and scales to more challenging music in a short period of time.

5. It makes you instantly more attractive. Just kidding, but according to the Internet, there might actually be some truth to that!

 

Are you ready to play guitar? MUS 164, Class Guitar, starts September 13 and meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6 to 7 through December 9. Beginners are welcome, as are more seasoned players who want to improve their playing.

We’ll explore a variety of musical styles from folk to rock to jazz, and build a solid foundation of overall musicianship studying guitar playing technique and music theory.

Register for MUS 164 at my.parkland.edu or contact Admissions at admissions@parkland.edu or 217/351-2482, or visit the Admissions Office in U214.

Young Kim teaches class guitar at Parkland and leads the Parkland Guitar Ensemble.

It Only Matters How You Finish!

Parkland College Student Trustee Crystal Bates (above, third from right) details below her determined journey to get to, and succeed at, Parkland College.

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Life threw me a couple of curve balls long before I had ever chosen to take swing at bat:

I was recruited by the US Navy at age 17 and spent two years doing secure communications in a foreign land. I had joined because my options were to go to college, join the military, or enter the workforce with zero training or experience.

I came back home and the years slipped away from me; I was busy trying to have fun with the least amount of responsibility possible. I worked retail for almost 10 years before retail took a big hit because of the tight economics. The job was not fulfilling, and each day I dreamed of how I could escape this tedious work that made me feel so mundane. Soon, I was laid off from my job and so worked various short-term jobs to pay the bills and take care of my daughter.

Next thing I knew, four more years had passed, and I was pregnant with twins! This was a shock; I believe that most of that pregnancy I really thought the doctors were kidding. After 34 weeks in, we found out that one of the twins was in distress and had to be delivered immediately. Realization set in when I was holding two healthy, and happy babies. Now I was a mother of three. This was my title, my work. But all the while, I’m dreaming of a better life for my children and me. How was I ever going to accomplish anything with three small children? With passion and unbridled determination.

I had a fire burning inside me, and the only way to put it out was to invest in myself for the benefit of my children, myself, and others. Dreams that I was in school, receiving an education that no one would ever be able to take away from me, drew me to Parkland College, where I knew they held the keys to my dreams.

Application for admission, assessments, orientation, student ID—before long, I was officially a Cobra! Upon meeting with a counselor, she revealed the degree of my dreams: Associates of Arts in Psychology. I signed up for fall classes immediately. Was I nervous? Super nervous.

As a matter of fact, I would come early just so I could find friends to keep the panic attacks at bay. The circle of friends I have made have been some of the best friends a person could ask for! We help each other with assignments and are there for each other for social and emotional support. These connections with students and our professors has kept me at Parkland for my (now) fifth year, as a nontraditional student.

I have had to take longer than most, but I graduate in the spring of 2017. Has it taken me longer than that of traditional students? Sure it has, but I have a 3.2 overall GPA, all because I took considerable time on assignments and made sure that my grades were a high priority. Also, because I have determination and passion, I have held two offices in Student Government. I started out as a student senator and have currently been voted and sworn in as student trustee.

My time at Parkland is coming to an end, and I am so sad. This is such a great institution with amazing professionals who make it their personal goal to see each and every student succeed. I have been so fortunate to have built such amazing social connections because Parkland feels like an educational “family”. Besides fantastic professors, the Center for Academic Success has assisted me in ensuring that my GPA is as solid as it is. CAS is an amazing tool that each and every student has access to. I cannot speak highly enough about our tutors and our Writing Lab! Use these free tools that help make each one of us better students and extremely qualified professionals in our chosen field of study.

Has it been hard to go to school with little kids? Of course. It is a balancing act, just the same as daily life is. But I decided to tip the scales in my favor and invest in my personal academic path. Do I plan to transfer? Absolutely. I am not done yet. I have developed an addiction to learning as much as I can, as long as I can. The end result will be a mater’s degree in clinical psychology. Being a veteran, I feel I have a duty to help my brothers and sisters in their struggles to maintain normalcy, and this is whom I hope to work with, for the most part.

A Snazzy New Room

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I am incredibly excited to be teaching this semester in one of our new Innovative Learning Labs. Funded by Title III, these rooms were designed by faculty to be modern, collaborative, versatile, and awesome.

I am teaching in the larger of the two, with high ceilings and natural light. Six Apple TVs line the walls with another on a mobile cart, and the professor or the students can share their computer screens with one or all of the TVs. Versatile seating and tables can be rearranged in a million different ways. Color on the walls and in the upholstered furniture departs from the usual institutional classroom feel. Note the lack of a large board for lectures, and really, the lack of any natural front of the room.

What? A math class with no front board? Yes, that is exactly what I’m doing.

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I hope for this room to affect my class from two aspects:

  1. Super cool technology that I can harness in all kinds of creative ways
  2. An open, casual room that just feels different and has a subtle influence on the way students feel and collaborate

I must confess that I feel completely unqualified to harness the potential of this room, but I’m enthusiastic and willing to brainstorm with others. With the help of our instructional designer and other creative colleagues, I hope to use this opportunity to infuse my class with engaging activities and digital materials that enhance my students’ learning in meaningful ways.

And with the sound-muffling baffles, it sort of looks like the inside of the old Tardis. And that’s just cool.

[Erin Wilding-Martin teaches mathematics  at Parkland College. The article above is a repost from her Developmental Math Redesign blog.]

Parkland 13- and 8-Week Classes Still Available

You might have missed out on Parkland’s full semester classes that began August 22, but many classes that start later in the semester are still available.

If you are still considering taking a class, or need to pick up a few more credit hours to graduate on time, here’s what you need to know about late-start classes.

  • For 13-week classes that start the week of September 12, the signup deadline is September 8 for new and continuing, degree-seeking students. Tuition is due September 6 on reserved classes.
  • For 8-week classes that start the week of October 17 (midterm classes), the signup deadline is October 13 for new and continuing, degree-seeking students.  Tuition is due October 11.
  • Most late-start classes are financial aid eligible.
  • Need more time to pay? Our Tuition Payment Plan gives you an easier way to pay for college AND budget your educational expenses. For as little as $25 and 50% down (if you make your payment by September 6), you can extend the payment due on your reserved classes for weeks longer. Sign up online.
  • Check out available late-start class sections in WebAdvisor on my.parkland.edu, in the fall semester class schedule, or on the web.

Please visit Admissions and Records in U214 or email admissions@parkland.edu for help with choosing and registering for classes. No appointment necessary!

We are looking forward to seeing you in class this semester.

 

[Julie Marlatt is the dean of enrollment management at Parkland.]

UIUC Student Touts Parkland Transfer

Hundreds of University of Illinois students, like marketing senior Brent Loth, take Parkland College classes each year to shorten the road to their Illinois degrees. Below, Brent shares why university students should explore Parkland transfer options.

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As a University of Illinois student, I sometimes find myself in a bind. I want to get my degree as soon as possible, but it can be hard to get in all the courses I need throughout the school year. I also have additional pressures, like being financially responsible and finding the right learning setting to prepare myself for life after college.

Luckily, I have lived in Champaign for most of my life and know that Parkland College carries a fantastic reputation for its education and atmosphere. After talking with my academic advisor, we decided Parkland would be a great fit for my college objectives, and I found some classes I could take during the summers to earn my degree in a timely way and stay productive during my time off from the U of I.

I was able to transfer classes with ease and had a smaller learning environment, getting individual attention that helped with classes I found difficult. I got to know my teachers on a personal level while getting the same credits I could earn at the U of I for a fraction of the cost.

So far, I have taken Intro to Marketing, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Spanish 1. Now, as I prepare to graduate this upcoming year, my positive experiences influenced me to also finish language requirements with Parkland this fall. I plan to do so along with my other U of I classes.

I recommend Parkland classes for the following reasons:

1. Taking classes at Parkland can help you earn your degree faster, especially during summer and winter breaks.

2. You get more individual attention to narrow your focus for class, which helps with subjects you find challenging.

3. It helps ease financial stresses for yourself and your family.

4. Many classes transfer and have equivalency toward your degree.

I encourage you to talk to your academic advisor to see if Parkland would be a good fit for you. It turned out to be an amazing resource for me, and I know you will be happy with what the school has to offer. – Brent Loth

***Visit the Parkland College website for more information on concurrent enrollment for UIUC students.***

[Hilary Valentine is the associate director of marketing at Parkland.]

 

 

Alumni Art Exhibition This Fall: Call for Entries!

alumni exhibit

Giertz Gallery at Parkland College is celebrating Parkland’s 50th anniversary by hosting its first-ever alumni juried exhibition, featuring the artwork of our most talented alumni! Are you one of them?

Giertz Gallery invites Art and Design alumni to show your creativity and talent by submitting artwork to the Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition.

All works to be considered for inclusion in the exhibit must be submitted by August 26. Visit parkland.edu/gallery for complete details and the online entry form.

Entry is open to all artists who have taken at least one class within the Art and Design program at Parkland. Submitted works may be in the following disciplines: painting, sculpture, ceramics, metals, drawing, printmaking, photography, textiles, video, and mixed media. Work completed under an instructor’s supervision is not eligible. Work must have been made in the last three years.

We are delighted that Barry Blinderman, director of University Galleries at Illinois State University, will serve as juror of the exhibition.

Parkland College 50th: Art and Design Alumni Exhibition will run September 26–November 5, 2016.

Joining Forces: Business Training, Community Education

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Have you heard? Effective July 1, Parkland College Business Training and Parkland College Community Education will join forces, with the united goal of providing opportunities to transform lives through personal and professional development.

Parkland College Business Training and Community Education is positioned to be a “one-stop” for the community’s various demographics, interests, and needs. Through an array of high-quality, customer-driven programs, the department will provide professional growth, career-enhancing training, workshops, social and travel outings, and personal enrichment opportunities.

Services include workshops for individuals who want to upgrade their job skills or train for a new career; corporate and customized training and consulting for area employers; special programs for the underemployed and unemployed, including the Highway Construction Careers Training Program; the Traffic Safety Program; and enrichment classes for all ages, such as College for Kids, computer skills, health and wellness, home and garden, recreation and leisure, and travel classes.

By joining forces, the new department is positioning itself to be self-sustaining, expanding its team and services, and following best practices for the continuing education industry.  The department’s solid core values allow for collaboration, professionalism, diversity, progress, and excellence in all aspects of day-to-day operations and in the opportunities provided to the community.

If you want to learn specific skills to be more productive in your job, we offer workshops just for you!

Popular business training programs of Interest:

For a full list of workshops for your personal and professional interest, check out www.parkland.edu/businesstraining or call 217/351-2235.

Talk the Talk, w/Help from the Presentation Center

Taking a Parkland College speech class this summer? Does your upcoming syllabus include a team project demonstration? No worries; let our Presentation Center help!

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Stop by Room C151 with your individual or group presentation project! Trish Barker, one of our COM faculty, will be in the center to help Parkland students and employees with:

  • Organizing or creating oral presentations
  • Creating visuals
  • Overcoming public-speaking anxiety
  • Creating a presentation assignment (faculty)
  • Coaching students through practice sessions (faculty)

We’re open during the 2016 early summer session, May 16–June 2:

8–9 a.m. Monday–Friday
12:30–2:30 p.m. Monday–Friday

A full summer schedule soon will be available at the Presentation Center’s web page.

[Associate Professor Jody Littleton teaches speech communication and serves as Parkland’s Study Abroad coordinator.]

 

169 Entries, $1400 in Awards, One Night to Celebrate

Parkland’s Graphic Design and Interactive Design Programs feature intensive hands-on studio classes that are rooted in real-world problem solving. Students start building portfolio samples in their first semester and then keep building them throughout the two-year program. The best of these projects are featured every year in a juried exhibition in Parkland’s Giertz Gallery.

Poster by Bethany Manalo

Solving visual communication problems is not easy. Students have to communicate a concept, utilize design principles to make it look good, learn to embrace centuries-old typographic traditions, master powerful digital tools with steep learning curves, and then justify their design decisions to the client.

jason dockins
T-shirt design by Jason Dockins

Despite these and many other challenges, our students rise to the challenge and embrace creative problem solving as a way of life. When they succeed, they are very proud of their work. As instructors, so are we. That’s why every spring, we take the best examples from our studio classes and put them in our art gallery for the world to see.

Book cover by Cayden Bergschneider

Every year, we also invite two industry professionals to come in to judge the show and to select the awards. This year’s judges were delighted with the results. “I was thrilled to be a judge for this year’s show,” said Kelly White, the executive director of 40 North. “The graphic design program at Parkland is outstanding and it was impressive to see the students’ resolutions to such a variety of concepts, applications, and current trends. They are exploring the critical foundations of typography while also creating some amazing illustrations and experimenting with what is successful communication and impactful marketing strategies. It was a blast being a judge and this will be a fantastic show!”

Matt Wiley, a well-renowned local illustrator and graphic designer at Taylor Studios added, “I loved seeing the variety of work this year and am honored to be involved in encouraging upcoming artists in Champaign-Urbana.”

Map by Martha Henigman

Special thanks for the generous support from the people at Surface 51, The Robeson Family, [co][lab], Studio 2D, Six Demon Studio, Wesley Food Pantry and the Champaign-Urbana Design Org (CUDO) who all donated cash awards. CUDO is also the co-sponsor the opening reception.

Come out and help celebrate another year of dedication, passion, sweat and tears. Expect to see great examples of advertising, branding, packaging, posters, brochures, T-shirts, motion graphics, websites, illustration, and other examples of commercial work. Be sure to RSVP on Facebook to see sneak peaks leading up to the event.

Poster by Brielle Arnold
Poster by Brielle Arnold
THE DETAILS
  • Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 11, 5–7pm
    (RSVP on Facebook)
  • Awards ceremony at 6:30pm
  • Musical performance by the Parkland Guitar Ensemble
  • Exhibition dates: May 9–28, 2016
  • Summer gallery hours: Mon–Thurs 10am–7pm; Sat noon–2pm
  • Location: Giertz Gallery at Parkland College,
    2400 W Bradley Ave., Champaign

Parkland’s Illustration instructor Liza Wynette will give a gallery talk titled “The State of Contemporary Illustration” immediately after the awards ceremony. Her gallery talk will feature recent student and professional art commissioned for editorial, advertising, and other commercial applications.

[Paul Young is the program director of Graphic Design at Parkland College.]

Thinking College? Club Latino Students Share Some Keys to Success

What are three key ingredients for success at Parkland College for Latino students?

The students themselves would probably tell you that: 1) family/friend support, 2) affordability, and 3) information is the trio to beat.

I recently sat down with members of Club Latino, one of the longest-running and most active student clubs at Parkland, for a Q&A session. These students come from various cities (Rantoul, Arcola, Tuscola, Decatur, and C-U) and are pursuing a wide range of majors (music therapy and neurology, psychology, computer science, criminal justice, surgical technology, Spanish, and sociology). Most of the Club Latino students work 30-40 hours a week as well as take classes, attend Club Latino meetings (free pizza!), and do volunteer/service work with the club.

As we chatted about their Parkland experiences and what has kept them motivated to learn, they also shared with me what they would like future Parkland students of Latino heritage to understand about college before they begin their journeys here.

What keeps you going?
  • My mom. She is so encouraging.
  • Support for our families; we don’t want to let them down.
  • We are hard workers—it’s in our blood.
  • We need a better future for ourselves.
  • I have goals—I want to achieve them.
  • I am a nursing major, and I’m getting closer to my goal of helping people.
How do you balance work and school?
  • It has not been easy. There are days I dedicate to school and days I dedicate to work.
  • I consider my Club Latino time my hangout time.
What made you decide to come to Parkland? Why is this place special?
  • I worked with my mom in a factory for two years. I saw how tired she was after working 60-hour weeks, and I knew I didn’t want to do that forever.
  • Parkland’s tuition is more affordable than other schools, and it’s closer to home.
  • Parkland feels safe to me. The environment is friendly and I don’t ever feel fear. I feel like it’s my home.
  • It’s a great place to start… a stepping stone.
  • I still don’t know what I want to do, but I will figure it out at Parkland.
How does campus involvement in Club Latino benefit you?
  • How important is it to be involved in college? 101% important. Students struggle with work and school, but being involved helps you realize how much more college has to offer and how worthwhile it is.
  • You’re also learning leadership skills, teamwork skills, accounting, planning. When you experience other things, you start to have a broader perspective.
  • I’ve met a lot of new people from new areas and made new friends.
  • It makes you more responsible because you see other people being responsible.
  • I never had much Latino culture growing up, so being in Club Latino connects me to my heritage.
  • We try to motivate younger Latinos to set goals and go to college. We do outreach to high schools.
What would you want a younger brother or sister to know about starting college?
  • Applying to college is not as hard as you think. When I first came to Parkland, I talked to Financial Aid and figured out how to pay for college. It seems like a lot of steps, but once you’re in, the only struggle is then getting through classes. Once you’re here, there are a lot of people to help you out.
  • Get started early for fall. Don’t wait. Fill out the FAFSA and use last year’s information. You want to be one of the first people to apply. You have to be persistent.
  • I think it’s important to find that support system before you come, and then once you’re here, find it here.
  • You don’t have to know what to major in before you come to school. The general requirements apply to a lot of majors, so none of it is wasted time.

    Thanks to Club Latino members who shared their meeting time with me: Kellyn, Jesus, Bree, Karina, Yulibeth, Chaz, Joey, Jennifer, and Lisette.

[Hilary Valentine is the marketing analyst for Parkland’s Marketing and Public Relations department.]

 

“Try Online!” Series: Introduction to Finance

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  BUS 264 , Introduction to Finance, taught by instructor Bob Meyer.

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Introduction to Finance (BUS 264)
 transfers to the University of Illinois as FIN 221, Corporate Finance. I have worked for years to make sure that this course is equivalent to what is taught at most major universities.

But rather than sitting in a lecture hall with several hundred students, Parkland College students in BUS 264 enjoy much smaller class sizes, where they learn about investing, the time value of money, and how to evaluate whether a project is economically feasible.

What to Expect
This course is spread over 13 weeks to give you plenty of time to learn the material. You’ll have many assignments including an Aplia homework manager, but the course offers flexibility on due dates. Some of the work will be group or team work, and the groups typically interact over the Internet. Typically, half of the class comprises out-of-state students, and a tenth of the class lives out of the country.

BUS 264 includes two tests and a stock project. You may take your tests at Parkland or at approved proctor sites.

About the instructor: Bob Meyer has taught five sections of BUS 264 each year for the past 25 years. He has also taught at the University of Illinois’ Finance department, in both its undergraduate and graduate finance programs. He has owned a business and has been an insurance agent and a stock securities agent. He enjoys finance as well as teaching this course.

***BUS 264: Offered June 13–Aug 4 and Sep 12–Dec 9. Register online today for either section (but these sections fill fast!).***

 

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

Get Involved: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Part of the college experience is becoming more aware of your contribution to society; you come to realize you can and do make a difference by serving the world around you. This month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, offers new opportunities for you to express that service. Here are two of them:

  • Our RACES Fundraiser takes place April 26, 11 am–1 pm, in the Student Union. All proceeds will benefit Rape Advocacy, Counseling, & Education Services (RACES), a community rape crisis center. RACES offers advocacy, counseling, and crisis intervention for survivors of sexual assault and provides educational programs in Champaign, Piatt, Ford, and Douglas Counties.
    While you’re at Parkland next Tuesday, buy and decorate a “I ♥ Consent” T-shirt. Take a selfie of yourself as you sign the “Empowering Words” wall, a new mobile assault and domestic battery awareness display. Make your own bracelets/wrist bands, Ultimately, make your voice heard, because it’s on ALL of us to say, “Not Anymore.”
    Shirts are available in white $10  or blue at $15. If you’re unable to attend, you can still order a shirt by contacting Chaya Sandler at 217/353-2627 or me, Dean Marietta Turner, at 217/351-2505. Tell us your size, color and please make the check out to RACES.
  • Take your group, club, friends or family and make a strong Parkland College showing at the 37th Annual TAKE BACK THE NIGHT walk:
    37th Annual TAKE BACK THE NIGHT
    Thursday, April 28, 6:30–10 pm
    Lincoln Square, 201 Lincoln Square, Urbana
    Take Back the Night is aimed at raising awareness around sexual violence and calling for its end by bringing together survivors, community members, students, and other supporters. Everyone will gather on the west side of Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana (intersection of Race and Green Streets), and march to the Main Quad beginning at 7 pm.
    A rally and speak-out will follow the march. The speak-out will take place in room 217 in Noyes Laboratory (505 S. Matthews Ave., Urbana). This event is OPEN TO EVERYONE. We will march in inclement weather, barring dangerous conditions. For more information, call 217/344-6298.

On behalf of the Sexual Assault Awareness Month Committee at Parkland, I encourage you to get involved and make your voice heard.

Thanks,

Marietta Turner
Dean of Students
Parkland College

“Try Online!” Series: Accounting Classes

Don’t let them fool you: online classes can be some of the most engaging, rigorous, and interactive college courses out there. In this short series of posts, “Try Online!”, Parkland faculty briefly introduce you to some of the most popular online courses we teach, available now in our summer/fall 2016 lineup. Below, check out  ACC 101/102 , Financial Accounting/Managerial Accounting, from instructor Judy Smith.

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 If Not Quite the Oldest Profession…

Did you know we may have the profession of accounting to thank for written language? This should come as no surprise, since commerce is nearly as old as civilization itself.

More than 5,000 years ago, accountants used marks to keep track of goods stored in warehouses. In ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome, accountants kept meticulous records of the inventory kept in royal storehouses. Often, their lives depended on the accuracy of their records. Over time, their marks grew more complex and became the basis for written language. In a way, many academic disciplines we now pursue can be traced back to the practice of accounting.

Accounting has changed significantly over the centuries. One welcome change is that accountants who make errors today can make an adjustment entry instead of paying with their lives! The advent of double-entry accounting in the 14th century is probably the greatest single development in the accounting profession and is still in practice. Today, accounting is organized around financial statements, audits, and government-imposed standards.

One thing the history of accounting has taught us is that the world will always need accountants and systems of accounting. Those systems may change and grow, but the need will always be present. As global commerce continues to grow and systems become more standardized, the world will continue to need well-trained and knowledgeable accountants.

What to Expect
This summer, you can begin your accounting training online at Parkland by taking ACC 101, Financial Accounting, and ACC 102, Managerial Accounting. ACC 101 starts May 16 and ACC 102 starts June 13. You’ll learn the basics of handling financial statements as related to investors, creditors, and managers, and then practice managerial procedures such as classification of costs, standard costs and variance analysis, capital budgeting, and cost allocation.

Let your advisor know if you want to take both classes this summer, from the comfort of your home.

About the instructor: Judy Smith has been at Parkland since 2001. She started teaching part time and has been teaching accounting full time since 2008. She received her undergraduate degree in accounting from University of Oklahoma and her Masters in Accounting from Southern Illinois University. Judy is a CPA and worked in a CPA firm for five years before launching her teaching career.

***ACC 101: Offered May 16–Jul 1 (online) and Jun 13–Aug 1 (hybrid);
ACC 102: Offered Jun 13–Aug 4 (online). Register online today.***

[Derrick Baker is director of the Professional Development and Instructional Technology unit at Parkland College.]

Busy Restaurateur Thanks Parkland for Degree Push

farren

Although he’s too much of a gentleman to say it, Brian Farren probably scoffs at the notion of being “too busy” to return to school.

After all, this is the man who has a full-time job as an operations manager at FedEX and helps run the successful downtown eatery that bears his name while constantly taking classes and raising a family.  The 2015 Parkland graduate will complete his bachelor’s degree at Eastern Illinois University in May 2017 (Organizational and Professional Development) and is now contemplating grad school in addition to earning both personal fitness and life coaching certificates.

Brian recently took time for some Q&A with me about life as an adult learner:

How involved in Farren’s pub are you?

A: We have had Farren’s for a little over 16 years. My involvement comes and goes as needed. Day-to-day, I would say I am hardly involved at all; my wife deserves the lion’s share of the success we have had with that venture. We first met while employed at the same restaurant, so we are both capable, but hospitality is definitely her calling. I would consider myself the best pinch hitter she has. I am working an event for her this weekend because she will be out of town with our kids.

How has the Adult Re-entry Center helped you accomplish your academic goals?

A: I returned to school at Parkland College in August 2013. I first contacted Billie Mitchell, who was the director of the Adult Re-entry Center at the time. She listened to my goals and, using my transcripts from previous credits earned, helped me tailor a course of study to accomplish them. My journey was then handed to Tony Hooker, who finished what Billie had started. Tony was encouraging and helpful while I completed my studies at Parkland and always made himself available to answer my questions.

What advice would you give to prospective adult learners?

A: Get in and get started as soon as possible. Start slowly in order to reacquaint yourself with the learning environment, but don’t wait. The sooner you start, the sooner you will finish. Do not let the fact that you may be older than some of the other students bother you. You can be a great resource to them and you have the opportunity to bring maturity to the classroom that few others can provide. Adult life brings distractions that were not there in younger years, so keep your attention on your priorities and stay calm. Don’t try to do too much; you will finish if you stay focused.

Is there anything you would like to add?

A: I never thought I would have the desire to return to school, but as I near the end, I am glad that I decided to complete my education. The job market continually gets more competitive. Completing your education can provide what is needed to take advantage of future opportunities. I am grateful that I found the Adult Re-entry program at Parkland and that I took advantage of such a great local resource.

[To get started finishing your degree, contact Tony Hooker with the Parkland College Adult Re-entry Center at ahooker@parkland.edu or 217/351-2462.]

 

Get Ready for Summer Fun with College for Kids!

It’s time to make family plans for summer fun!

Would you like your child’s summer to be filled with fun activities, new and enriching experiences, and opportunities to make new friends,? Look no further; we’ve just described Parkland’s very own College for Kids!

Does your child want to learn digital photography? Does she want to discover the ins and outs of electricity and building circuits?  Or, does he want to design e-textiles or learn to imbed circuits in his very own work of art? We’ve got a class for that. College for Kids participants can design mosaic tiles, write their own movie script, discover the physics behind how a Frisbee flies, learn how to operate a teleprompter, and even be a part of the Pitch at Parkland, our first a cappella experience designed for kids! We offer these fantastic experiences and many more.

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer program for students entering grades 3 through 8. For the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, radio broadcasting to astronomy, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on and interactive, and they put the fun in learning!

This summer’s sessions are June 20-30 and July 11-21. Classes meet 12:15-2:15 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Sure, we’ll still feature summer favorites like Kids in the Kitchen, Mad for Math, Engineering Medieval Mayhem, and Video Games from Scratch. But look for new classes, too, like the Buzz about Bugs, Behind the Lines–The CFK Improv Troupe, Pocket Sketching, and Making Jewelry with Metals. Students will have an opportunity to design their own strategy game, explore the relationship between writing and our senses in Writing Detectives, and use brand new iPad’s in our digital photography and movie-making classes.

CFK classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides state-of-the-art facilities for 3D Paper Sculptures, Painting Like the Masters, and Color Your World, an experimental painting class using unique techniques. Students will be exposed to so many of Parkland’s amazing resources, including science and computer labs, the hospitality kitchen, and even the library!

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and questioning. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes here and mark your calendar for the first day of registration—April 4!

Registration for this summer’s program opens at 12 am on Monday, April 4. Session 1 meets Monday through Thursday, June 20 through June 30, and Session 2 meets Monday through Thursday, July 11 through 21. Classes are held from 12:15–2:15 p.m. and 2:30–4:30 p.m.

Tuition for each class is $159, and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You may register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign. Questions?  Call 217/353-2055.

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.]

Cultures Fair 2016

bam2 (3)

Parkland College Cultures Fair 2016
Thursday March 17, 10–3, Main Stage Student Union and U140

Everyone is invited to attend the Cultures Fair at Parkland College this Thursday.  The event is free, and will feature an exciting lineup of musical artists from around the world.  There will also be activities in U140, including language lessons, henna tattoos, free international snacks, and music.  We will be raising money at the fair for Build Congo Schools.

Schedule
10–10:45: Belly Dancing (Classy Combinations)
11–11:30: Parkland International Student Performance
11:30–11:50: Chinese Silk and Bamboo Ensemble (Priscilla Tse, UIUC)
Noon–12:45: Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
1–1:45: Bali Lantari, traditional Indonesian dance and music (led by I Ketut Gede Asnawa, UIUC)
2–2:45: Capoeira Angola (Denis Chiaramonte, UIUC)

Classy Combinations Belly Dancing Troupe
Classy Combinations promotes education and demonstration of Middle Eastern dance, with fusion flavors of Flamenco, Turkish, Persian, African and Tribal. We support meaningful fundraisers and promote culturally diverse programs in dance and music, while celebrating and encouraging the traditions of global community. We enchant audiences with our always family rated shows and very diverse variety of skills and specialties within the elegant Belly Dance!

www.youtube.com
–Day 1 Taste of Champaign 2012 Choreography by Cindi Adkins

Priscilla Tse, Chinese Silk and Bamboo Ensemble
The Silk and Bamboo (sizhu) Ensemble is a string and wind group that represents a typical, traditional Chinese musical form. Like Shanghai Tea-house and Cantonese music, it often includes strings such as erhu and gaohu fiddles, pipa and yueqin lutes and the yangqin dulcimer as well as the dizi flute, sheng mouth-organ and percussion instruments such as the ban and gu clapper and drums.

Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
A professional musical ensemble featuring Congolese rumba with flavors of gospel, jazz and African rhythms. Bomoyi means “life” in the native language of Lingala. In addition to Lingala they sing in English, French, Kikongo, Swahili and Tshiluba. Well known in Congo Jean René Balekita and Bomoyi have recently gained enthusiastic audiences in the United States. Jean René on acoustic guitar is joined by vocalists Laeticia Kyungu and Joyce Nkama with Victor Matondo on bass guitar.

www.youtube.com
JEAN RENE BALEKITA ET LE GROUPE BOMOYI

Bali Lantari, traditional Indonesian dance and music
Bali Lantari is a private group based in Champaign and Urbana area is specializing in performing arts of traditional Indonesian dance and music under the direction of I Ketut Gede Asnawa.

www.youtube.com
I Ketut Gede Asnawa’s Original Balinese Gamelan Music ‘Catur Rawita’ (The Beauty of Four), is a composition for ‘gamelan ahgklung’ that involves singing and …

Capoeira Angola
Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, and is usually referred to as a game. It was developed in Brazil mainly by West African descendants with native Brazilian influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known for quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for a wide variety of kicks, spins, and highly mobile techniques. The Capoeira Angola Centre of Mestre João Grande, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, is led by Denis Chiaramonte.

www.youtube.com
Roda de Abertura do 5th Vem Vadiar 2012 Champaign-Urbana USA,Organizado pelo Centro de Capoeira Livre Como Vento e Denis Capoeira.

The fair is being sponsored by the Center for Global Studies, through support of the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC program, as well as support from the Centers for African Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ketut Gede Asnawa playing gamelan instrument. Photo by Folake Osibodu
Ketut Gede Asnawa playing gamelan instrument. Photo by Folake Osibodu

New Student Email System Coming March 21!

On Monday, March 21, 2016, the current student email system and Cobra Mail will go away and be replaced by a new, single student email system, Microsoft Outlook. Students will no longer need to hassle with checking two separate Parkland accounts, and email addresses will remain the same: username#@stu.parkland.edu.

Outlook IconOther benefits include advanced email features and a much larger mailbox quota of 50 GB. Students will be able to access Parkland email via a web page or download the email client onto a personal device.  Since summer 2015, students have been able to access the Microsoft Office 365 suite for free, but beginning on 3/21, Outlook will also be made available as part of that suite.

There are a few important things that students and faculty will need to be aware of prior to the email change:

  • Existing messages will NOT be transferred to the new system, but students will have access to the old stu.parkland.edu email system through the end of the spring 2016 semester.
  • Cobra Mail will not be transferred to Outlook and will not be available for reference after 3/21.  Students and faculty will need to forward any Cobra Mail messages they wish to retain to another email account prior to the changeover.
  • If your Parkland student email account is currently forwarded to another account, you will need to set that up again in the new system, as those settings will not transfer to Outlook.

For information on how the Outlook widget will look within Cobra Learning , please check out https://kb.parkland.edu/page.php?id=60731.

If you have any questions about the upcoming email change, please contact the Tech Service Desk at 217/353-3333 or TechHelp@parkland.edu.

Seniors, Stop by to “Preview” this College!

Seniors, there are only three months left until you’re done with high school. Are you ready for college? We want to help you organize your plans at the Parkland Preview this Friday, March 11:

  • When you register for the event, tell us what major you are interested in, and we’ll set you up with instructors from those areas.
  • Totally unsure of what you would like to do?  Take a free career assessment so that we can help you find a starting point.
  • If you have already applied to Parkland, that’s great, you’ll have a chance to tour campus and get your questions answered.
  • Not sure if Parkland is the right place?  Meet some of the students during the first-year experience panel and make your own impressions.

This is your opportunity to explore college and Parkland in particular so that you can figure out if it’s the right place to start your college career. The Parkland Preview will be from noon to 2 pm in the Parkland Student Union this Friday, March 11.  Come with friends, bring your parents, or come on your own to get those questions answered.

You can register for the Parkland Preview right here!
[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

 

Middle and high school students come to Parkland for the Science Olympiad

Rockets will be launched and bridges will be destroyed for science! The regional Science Olympiad will take place at Parkland College on Saturday, March 5.

The Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students from over a dozen area schools. Students will be working hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and technology. The top teams will get a chance to compete at the state tournament, which takes place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on April 16. The awards ceremonies will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre beginning at 3:15 PM.

Each team will participate in 23 events spread out across campus. If you check out the Student Union, you may find students testing gliders or operating robot arms. The X wing will have students testing Rube Goldberg devices. Students will be using their wind turbines in the Dodds Athletic Center. Others will be studying invasive species in the L wing and looking at constellations in the Staerkel Planetarium.

The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science! Volunteers for this event will be provided with breakfast and lunch. If you are interested in helping us run these events, you can sign up to volunteer here: http://vols.pt/pd3zs8.

Eat Pancakes, Support Flight Team

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College is holding a pancake breakfast this Saturday, February 27, from 8 am to noon. Come join us for sausage and unlimited pancakes! Price is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 10 and under.

This event is a fundraiser to support the Institute of Aviation flight team when they compete in the National SAFECON at the Ohio State University May 9–14.

Fly in or drive in to the Institute, located at 1 Airport Road, Savoy.

We look forward to seeing you!

Campus Visit Day: There’s Still Time to Sign Up!

Some high school students find that sitting down and speaking with a college admissions advisor well before College Day One makes them better prepared to navigate the college experience. Touring the college’s campus doesn’t hurt, either.

This Monday, Parkland College will hold sessions that allow area students to see if this community college is a good fit for them.

Our first spring Campus Visit Day of 2016 will include the aforementioned opportunities and more:

  • an overview of how to apply to Parkland, sign up for financial aid, and select among its many academic programs
  • opportunity to learn more about Parkland’s Health Professions and the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program
  • a guided tour of campus
  • ability to apply on the spot for the summer and fall 2016 semesters at our Application Station
  • opportunity to speak one-on-one with admissions counselors to answer other questions.

Campus Visit Day events will begin at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.

Parkland schedules two Campus Visit Days each spring; the second will occur April 1.

You can still reserve a visit for Monday’s Campus Visit Day! Just go to www.parkland.edu/getStarted/visit or email admissions@parkland.edu. For more information, call Parkland College Admissions at 217/351-2509.

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Why Petition to Graduate? You Owe It.

Ever told yourself, “I’m not going to bother getting my associate’s degree since my focus is on a bachelor’s degree“?

We need to talk.

If you have completed all the requirements for your associate’s degree, you owe it to your parents, loved ones, friends (and yes, even yourself) to Petition to Graduate. Receiving this degree is a chance to celebrate and reflect on all the hard work you have completed thus far.

Having your degree credential can add a major piece to your resume and makes it easier to transfer to your senior institution of choice. Of course, if your associate’s is in one of our career programs, graduating is the whole point!

Where Do You Find the Petition to Graduate?
Look on Parkland’s website (under Admissions and Records and then Forms). It costs you nothing to apply and only takes a minute to complete and turn in to the admissions counter.

****DEADLINES to Petition for Spring 2016 Graduation****

  • Plan to participate in Parkland’s Commencement Excercises? Submit your Petition to Graduate on or before March 2.
  • Not participating in Commencement? Submit your Petition to Graduate on or before April 1.

[Dennis Kaczor is a credentials analyst in Parkland Admissions and Records.]

Parkland: An International Campus

Did you know Parkland College has the most international students of any community college in the state of Illinois? In educational terms, “international student” refers to those students who study in the United States on visas. Currently, more than 300 visa students study at Parkland College!

 

However, Parkland is far more international than that. Loads of Parkland students not studying with visas come from all over the world. Many were born here in Champaign-Urbana to immigrant families or moved here with their families at a young age. Surprising to many, Champaign-Urbana is one of the most international cities in the region. Between the large numbers drawn by the University of Illinois, familial ties, and the cities’ refugee-friendly reputation, thousands of families have found their way to C-U.

So where do Parkland College international students come from? They, too, come from all over: Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Cameroon, Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Armenia, Angola, DR Congo, China, France, Brazil, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Liberia, Kenya, Albania, Australia, Venezuela, Japan, Israel, Canada, Mali, South Africa, Portugal, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, The Philippines, Colombia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Mexico, Algeria, and Indonesia.

International students come to Parkland for a number of reasons, but one of the major ones is the English as a Second Language or ESL program that the college offers. While most universities require a certain score on an English exam for admission, an international student can come to Parkland without English proficiency and take ESL. The ESL program prepares students for academic and career English, rather than basic English conversation skills they might learn in an English class in their home country. Students from the ESL program have gone on to earn degrees from Parkland and then transfer to universities all around the country, to study a variety of fields.

Today, English is considered to be one of the global languages of business. Foreign students who learn English AND study a specific subject at Parkland College are in a position to stand out in an increasingly global economy. On the other side, American students can learn a great deal and gain new perspective from their international peers.

Find out more about Parkland  College’s opportunities for  its international students by visiting our International Center. Students from countries outside the U.S. can find out about applying to Parkland here. Join an inspiring community of global citizens, learning together!

[Chris Jackson is an international admissions advisor for Parkland Admissions and Records.]

Celebrate Black History Month 2016 with Us!

What began as “Negro History Week,” sponsored by African-American historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and others in 1926, evolved over the years into Black History Month.

It is a national time to honor the triumphs, achievements, and struggles of African-Americans throughout the history of the United States.  President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Parkland College is proud to continue this honored tradition and we invite you to join us in celebrating Black History Month 2016.   We have assembled an impressive array of events and activities that we hope you will take the time to attend and experience.

See a calendar of events HERE.

Get Your $$ for Spring Semester!

Need help paying for spring semester?  Parkland College Foundation Scholarships remain available for spring. The funds are there, just waiting for the right student to apply!

Currently available with a January 25 deadline:

  • Latasha Brize Scholarship – $500
  • Champaign County Nursing Home Scholarship – Amount varies
  • Jay Downey Scholarship – $500
  • Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 29 Scholarship – $1000
  • Fisher National Bank Scholarship – $500
  • Juanita L. Gammon Graphic Design Scholarship – $250
  • Heartland Bank Community Enhancement Scholarship – $1000
  • Lykins Family Art Scholarship – $250
  • Theda Seaton Marley Single Mother Nursing Scholarship – $250
  • Power of the Purse Scholarship – $1000
  • Seymour American Legion Post 1256 Scholarship – $500
  • Veterinary Technology Faculty and Staff Scholarship – $500
  • Gayle Wright Memorial Scholarship – $500

You’ll find applications for these scholarships at my.parkland.edu.  Log in to the portal and select “Scholarship Search” under the Student Services tab. You will be directed to a listing of all currently available scholarships.  By selecting “eligible scholarships” from the drop down menu, you will also find a list that is more customized based on available scholarship criteria.  The search feature is an excellent resource to find scholarships funded by the Parkland College Foundation.  Scholarship information provided by external organizations is posted here as well.

Most scholarship applications require you to write an essay, but don’t be intimidated!  The Center for Academic Success at Parkland offers a Writing Lab in D120 that is open and available to all students.  You can receive free help from English instructors with any writing project you might have.  For more information, visit D120 or log in to my.parkland.edu.

Want to broaden your search?  Besides the Parkland Foundation, many reputable online resources for scholarships can help you as well:

Keep in mind, most reputable scholarship organizations do not ask you to pay a fee to apply.

Planning for fall?  Students must apply for financial aid every year … NOW is the time to apply for the 2016-2017 FAFSA available online at FAFSA.gov.   In addition, Parkland College Foundation fall 2016 Scholarship opportunities will be available in the student portal beginning March 15!

[Tim Wendt is Parkland’s director of enrollment services.]

New Year, New FAFSA to Complete!

That’s right, the 2016-2017 FAFSA is now available! For those attending college during the 2016-2017 award year, be sure to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible.

Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application is quick and easy to complete. Make sure you complete the 2016- 2017 FAFSA and not the 2015-2016 form if you are applying for financial aid for next year (Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017).

Plus, check out this US Dept. of Education blog post to avoid common FAFSA mistakes before you file!

For more information about the financial aid process, please email our office at finaid@parkland.edu or visit the SALT website at www.saltmoney.org.  SALT also provides helpful information and resources for searching for scholarships to supplement your financial aid award.

What Is SALT?
SALT is a website created by American Student Assistance® (ASA), a nonprofit organization, to help Parkland College students like you become more financially savvy. This program rewards you for making smart money decisions, and we’re providing all of its services to you—including your membership—as a gift, free of charge. Create your SALT account at www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege today!

**Top image from “7 Common FAFSA Mistakes” at http://blog.ed.gov/2014/01/7-common-fafsa-mistakes/**

[Dawn Good is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

Metalwork and Jewelry: Explore a Fascinating Art Form

While many Parkland students were finishing up the semester with papers and final exams, students in the metalworking/jewelry class were completing their final projects and discussing their work in an end-of-semester critique. Students who take ART 185/186, Metalwork and Jewelry I and II, work in a variety of different materials, processes, and designs as they learn technical skills including riveting, annealing, silver soldering, patinas (a chemical and/or heat reaction to the metal that produces color changes color), and texturizing.

One assignment was stone setting, where students learned to set a cabochon stone. They selected their own stone and each inspired a different kind of creativity. Here are some of the Metalwork and Jewelry I student projects:

circular pendant necklace
circular pendant necklace
Family heirloom stone set pendant (front)
Family heirloom stone set pendant (front)
Family Heirloom stone set pendant (back)
Family Heirloom stone set pendant (back)
Beveled stone set ring
Beveled stone set ring
Deer antler ring with pink camo stone
Deer antler ring with pink camo stone
Shield ring with stone setting
Shield ring with stone setting
Architectural Bracelet
Architectural Bracelet
Architectural Bracelet (knit)
Architectural Bracelet (knit)

This class is an elective, and is open to art and design majors and non-majors alike. This semester’s students included a sculpture major, someone preparing to transfer into fashion design at a four-year college, a retired engineer, a graphic designer, a homemaker, and a construction technology major. We welcome the new insights and fresh perspectives these students bring.

Another assignment for advanced students was to create reliquaries involving personal meaning and reflection along with technical challenges and instruction. Brooches were also explored for their historical meaning as well as the concept of a series through incorporating design elements. Here are some of those pieces:

Silver Fibula brooch with stone
Silver Fibula brooch with stone

Historic Fibula Design

Stick Pin Brooch series
Stick Pin Brooch series
Rabbit and the Hare Reliquary
Rabbit and the Hare Reliquary
Bird Skull Reliquary
Bird Skull Reliquary

Metalwork and Jewelry I (ART 185) and Metalwork and Jewelry II (ART 186) are both offered on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 9-11:45am OR Mondays/Wednesdays from 5:30-8:45pm**. Class sizes are limited but a few seats are still available for spring 2016. Current students may register at my.parkland.edu; new students should go to parkland.edu/getstarted.

**The Monday/Wednesday sessions are now available as a LATE-START option, starting Feb. 1. Last date to register (new degree-seeking students) is Jan. 26.

 

 

Take a Deep Breath, Get a Great Job!

Are you thinking of pursuing a health-related career? Sit back, take a deep breath, and consider respiratory care.

Local starting salaries are upwards of $35,000, and jobs are abundant in our area and nationwide. You can earn your Associate in Applied Science degree in two years; Parkland graduates have achieved 100% job placement. This is a great career for returning adult students; classes and labs offered in a hybrid format means you are only on campus one full day per week.

respiratory2a

Why is respiratory care important? Breathing is so fundamental that most of us do not give it a second thought. Breathing just happens; the magic of the chemistry in our brains takes over, and we breathe. But for the 24 million people in the United States and the 52 million worldwide who live with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), taking a breath can be a struggle. It requires work. Activity often demands planning to accommodate for the time required to “let me catch my breath.”

Respiratory therapists are critical members of the interdisciplinary care team for patients experiencing difficulty breathing. Providing diagnostic testing, treatment, and patient and family education, the respiratory therapist has the knowledge and skills to help patients with chronic lung disease enjoy an improved quality of life. Respiratory therapists provide pulmonary function testing, oxygen and specialty gas therapies, inhaled medications, airway clearance, and mechanical ventilation. In a resuscitation or CPR situation, a respiratory therapist is at the head, providing an airway and breathing for the patient. Respiratory therapists also see patients in neonatal intensive care units that arrive too soon, too small, or too sick to survive without a little help breathing; the chronically ill with complicating acute illnesses; and the critically sick and injured of all ages.

Most respiratory therapists work in acute care hospitals, but therapists are also needed in home care, in out-patient diagnostics, in pulmonary rehabilitation programs, long-term ventilation facilities, and in medical equipment sales and support. 

Applications for fall 2016 admission to the Parkland College Respiratory Care program are due by March 1, 2016. For more information email mseim@parkland.edu or visit http://www.parkland.edu/academics/departments/health/rtt/.

 

[Parkland’s Respiratory Care program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care and prepares you to become an expert in assessing, treating, and educating patients who have acute and/or chronic lung disease.]

Get Into Stress-LESS Week at Parkland!

This week, Phi Theta Kappa is hosting “Stress-Less Week.” We’ve scheduled a variety of events at the campus to help you take the stress off these last few weeks of the fall semester. Please join us if you can for the following events:

Tough-It-Out Tuesday
Tuesday, December 8

  • Martial Arts Demonstration, 12:30 to 1pm,  U-Wing cafeteria stage
  • Tug of War*,  1pm, P-Wing gym
    *Gloves and tennis shoes are required to participate in tug of war. We will try to provide a certain number of gloves, but bring your own, just in case.

We’re-Here-for-You Wednesday
Wednesday, December 9

  • Mental Health Awareness Fair, noon to 2pm, Student Union (U Wing)

Throwback Thursday
Thursday, December 10

  • Jigsaw Puzzles and Coloring Books, 10am to noon, Flag Lounge (X Wing)
  • Storytelling,  noon to 1pm , U-Wing cafeteria stage
  • Finals Survival Kit Distribution and C4 Signing, 4:30 to 5:30pm, Student Union (U Wing)

Feeling Good Friday
Friday, December 11

  • Therapy Dogs Visit, 9 to 11am, Flag Lounge (X Wing)
  • Massages (free), 11am to 1pm, Gallery Lounge (X Wing)
  • Lunch and Learn: Stress Management Workshop, noon to 1pm, U140 (Free lunches for attendees. They will be given on a first come, first serve basis.)
  • Finals Survival Kit Distribution and C4 Signing, 1:30 to 2:30pm in the Student Union (U Wing)

We are also conducting a donation drive for the Cunningham Children’s Home. Due to their limited storage space, they will only accept NEW donations. (No USED donations please.) A full list of accepted donations can be found at their website: http://www.cunninghamhome.org/giving. We have the full wish list posted in the College Center (X Wing by the library stairs) in the far left display case. We will be collecting monetary and physical donations at our events and physical donations ONLY at the donation collection points around campus.

The donation collection points can be found at the following locations:

  • Student Union (U Wing)
  • College Center (X Wing)
  • Natural Sciences department office (L Wing)
  • Fine & Applied Arts department office (C Wing), Social Sciences department office (D Wing)
  • Business & Agri-Business department office (B Wing)
  • Mathematics department office (M Wing)

We would really appreciate your help and support for this donation drive!

Prepare for Tomorrow—Establish Good Credit

Why worry about your credit score now, when you might be years away from owning a car, house, or small business?

For one thing, the longer you have a history of responsible credit use, the better.  For another, even though you can increase your score, it does take time.

What Is a Credit Score?
It’s a three-digit number credit card companies create to determine your creditworthiness (i.e., whether or not you can be trusted to repay your debts). Scores will fall somewhere between 300 and 850.

Your credit history and score can affect your ability to get a loan or a credit card or buy a car or house—as well as how much you pay for these things. The lower your credit score, the higher the interest rate you’ll pay.  Many employers today are even looking at applicants’ credit before extending job offers.

How Do You Establish Credit?
Of course, you’ll have to be careful with credit cards, but they can actually play a big role in building good credit, as long as you use them wisely. Use your credit card to make just a few purchases each month (expenses that are already figured into your budget—gas, your monthly cell phone bill, etc.) and pay the balance in full before the due date. This is a great way to establish credit over time while not going into costly credit card debt.

Check out www.saltmoney.org for more information on credit, credit cards, and good money management practices.

salt

What Is SALT?
SALT was created by American Student Assistance (ASA), a nonprofit organization, to help Parkland students like you become more financially savvy. This program rewards you for making smart money decisions, and we’re providing all of its services to you—including your membership as a gift, free of charge. If you haven’t created your SALT account yet, visit www.saltmoney.org/parklandcollege to sign up today!

 

[Dawn Good is a financial aid advisor in Parkland’s Financial Aid and Veteran Services office.]

H.S. Students, Parents: Scholarship, Info at SPIN!

High school students: Want to win a $250 Scholarship?

Register to win one next Thursday at our annual Parkland College Student/Parent Information Night (SPIN)!

Student/Parent Information Night
Thursday, November 5
6-7:30 p.m.
Student Union

Designed for high school students and their parents, you’ll get lots of information on:

  • How to Apply to Parkland
  • Paying for College
  • Health Professions and Other Academic Programs
  • Parkland Pathway to Illinois
  • PLUS, representatives from Disability Services, Student Life, Financial Aid, First Year Experience, Dual Credit, and TRiO will be on hand to answer your questions.

Ask current Parkland students your questions and register to win a $250 scholarship!

Want more information or have questions? Contact Sarah Hartman at sjhartman@parkland.edu or 217/353-2002.

Ready to sign up for SPIN?  RSVP here:

 

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

5 Reasons to Attend Parkland’s Open House

The Campus-wide Fall Open House is scheduled for Friday, November 13 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in Parkland’s Student Union. Here are five reasons you should check it out:

  1. Get a tour of campus led by Student Ambassadors.
  2. See open labs for many of the Health Careers (rare). Check out the H and L wings from noon to 3 p.m. for their events.
  3. Attend breakout sessions on financial aid or Parkland Pathway to Illinois.
  4. Visit with someone from your academic major to find out what the classes will be like.
  5. Learn about resources to help you succeed in college.

For more information, contact admissions@parkland.edu or call 217/351-2482. No RSVP required.

 

[Mary Kay Smith is the student services advisor for Parkland’s  Admissions and Records office.]

 

Knowledge Base: DIY Online Technical Support

It’s no surprise that Parkland students take online classes for the convenience they offer: Students can work during the day and take their classes at night—at home, in their pajamas. However, taking classes this way can create an issue when students run into problems of a technical nature and all of the help desks are closed.

That is why Parkland now offers a unified support desk and a 24/7 DIY (do-it-yourself) knowledge-base that is full of articles to help students with simple technical issues. Here are some ways you can use the knowledge base:

Example 1: Say you forgot your password. You can go to http://kb.parkland.edu and type “forgot password” into the search bar (see below) and click Search.

kbexample1

You’ll find that the results link you to an article titled Resetting your ParklandOne password. Click the article link, and you’ll get a step-by-step guide, including visuals, that walks you through the process.

kbexample2

The nice thing about the ParklandOne program is that when you forget the password, the reset will be good for all Parkland systems (Wi-Fi, student email, and my.Parkland; Cobra Learning will be added to this list in December 2015).

You can also search for Cobra Learning assistance as well. The search engine for the knowledge-base will search WITHIN the article as well…so even if you don’t know the exact terminology of the issue, you should be able to get a smaller number of articles from which to choose to get a resolution.

Example 2: Say you lost your Internet connection while taking a timed quiz in Cobra Learning! If you go to the knowledge-base search and type in “lost Internet connection”, it will give you a link to an article titled Cobra Learning – Tips for Taking Quizzes (see below).

kbexample3

In this article, you can find steps on how to try to regain entry into a quiz after losing Internet connection or if your browser freezes up, as well as other recommended tips for taking quizzes in Cobra Learning.

kbexample4

So, while we can’t offer you 24/7 tech support, we can offer you the next best thing: a knowledge-base with articles written specifically for Parkland users and arranged in a way that is easy to search and locate the assistance you need when you need it.

We are always open to requests for additional article topics, so if you can’t find your answer, let us know, and we’ll work to create one and add it for future reference.

 

[Lori Wendt is the online support specialist for the Professional Development and Instructional Technology department at Parkland.]

 

International Soccer Day

International Soccer Day at Parkland
Parkland Men’s Team against the University of Illinois Club Team
Sunday October 18, 24 pm, Parkland Soccer Field

An International Soccer Day will be hosted at Parkland College on October 18. Even though it is called International Soccer Day, every student, employee, or visitor of Parkland’s campus is welcome to join us. A major reason for the event is encouraging students to come to the home game for the Men’s Soccer team, starting at 2 p.m. in the Parkland soccer field.  Free snacks and prizes will be provided.

Our men’s team is doing great this season. It includes six international players from all over the world: Dan White and Keenan Meddings from England, Carlos Martinez from Venezuela, Paulo Pereira from Portugal,  and Gustavo Giordani and Victor Santos from Brazil.  Under the support of Coach Sikora (who has coached numerous All-Midwest Athletic Conference and Region 24 selections) and Coach Galeski, our men’s team has won eight games so far this season (pre-season included).

The opposing team is a strong team from the school on the other side of the town, the University of Illinois Club Team. Since both teams are performing great this season, we believe the game on October 18 will be an exciting one.  What’s more, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is advertising the soccer game with the international students there. That means there will be a lot of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students going to the soccer game at Parkland. Wouldn’t it be a shame if the university beats us on the amount of audience at our home game?

So come join us! Let’s show our Cobra pride and share the passion, together. Soccer game action and fun—isn’t that a perfect combination for a Sunday afternoon?

This event is organized by the the Alliance of International Students (AIS), which consists of five Parkland students who competed for and won prestigious yearlong campus scholarships. The mission of AIS is to bring together the international student community on Parkland’s campus. AIS students demonstrate leadership by creating campus activities, disseminating information, and creating bridges between campus groups. For questions, please contact internationaladmissions@parkland.edu.

[Article written by Guanheng Lo, an AIS student.]

 

3D football soccer ball with world teams flags. brazil world cup 2014. Isolated on white with clipping path

Why Should I Care about Civility?

Why should I care about civility?

Well, I guess you should care because we all want to be respected and treated with kindness. Actually, civility is so much more than being nice or respectful. It’s about:

  • treating others as we would want someone to treat us or a member of our family.
  • showing empathy and tolerance to others.
  • responding to people in a fair and just manner.
  • accepting accountability for our own actions and respecting people and property.

Parkland College faculty, staff, administrators, and students came together in 2008 to draft a Civility Statement. We wanted to promote awareness of civility and base it on the College’s core values. This statement didn’t just sit nicely on a page in the catalog; instead, it became the catalyst for the Parkland Civility Campaign. The campaign evolved into a campus committee called the Parkland College Civility Team, a.k.a. Parkland College for Civility (#PC4C).

We believe civility is for everyone. #PC4C seeks to cultivate a civil campus environment at Parkland College through information and civility actions. Again, October is Civility Awareness Month, so please watch for the #PC4C calendar of events. Join in and get involved! We’re an open-membership group, which includes student members. We’ll be hosting events and civility actions throughout the year.

You can help make our campus even more kind, respectful, and tolerant. Remember our motto: civility begins with me!

Marietta Turner
Chair, The Civility Team-#PC4C
Dean of Students

Midterm-Start Classes: Squeeze in One More!

For some Parkland College and University of Illinois students, October means a bit more than the change to fall Illinois weather and start of the countdown to a new year. Fall also brings a significant benchmark for the current semester – midterm – a time for reflection and examination of academic goals and progress.

Were you aware that Parkland offers a good selection of midterm-start classes? Think full credit, in half the time. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about taking an October-start class:

  • Are your reading and writing skills solid?
  • Are you able to work in a fast-paced environment?
  • Will you able to budget your time to successfully complete the class?
  • Do you have sufficient time and motivation to fulfill class requirements?

If your answer to these questions is yes, or if perhaps you are successfully completing your fall 2015 classes and want to “squeeze in” one more, you might be a good candidate to try an October-start class.

Midterm classes come in a variety of formats:  online, hybrid, morning, afternoon and evening. Classes range from general education courses (for both Parkland and University of Illinois students!) such as Art Appreciation, United States History, and Environmental Biology to courses like Introduction to Business and Weight Training.

Classes begin the week of October 19, so the time to get started on this is NOW!

Current Parkland students may wish to consult with someone in the Counseling and Advising Center (U276) prior to enrolling. Or … if ready to enroll, go to my.parkland.edu.

Current University of Illinois students who want more information about midterm-start courses can call Parkland College Admissions at 217/351-2482.

New degree-seeking students have a registration deadline of Tuesday, October 13. The last day to register for all other students is Thursday, October 15.

SPARK Celebrates Five Years!

Where can you find the best work of Parkland College students? Check out SPARK, Parkland’s award-winning, open access institutional repository!

This month, SPARK, which stand for Scholarship at Parkland, celebrates its fifth year showcasing the best scholarly and creative works of Parkland students. Each year, SPARK adds papers and projects by students participating in the A with Honors program, selected posters from the Natural Sciences Poster Session, podcasts from Anthropology 103’s Ethnographies of Parkland Student Life project, and prints, product designs, and digital media from the Graphic Design Student Exhibition.

Operating on the Digital Commons platform created by BePress, the collection now holds nearly 1,400 entries from over 450 student, faculty, and staff authors, and has seen over 100,000 downloads from around the globe. Take a look at this readership activity map to see how far SPARK reaches:

SPARK Readership Map link
Click on the SPARK Readership Map to connect to the web page.

Parkland was among the first community colleges in the country to recognize the value of establishing a digital collection of academic and creative student work, and SPARK has proven to benefit students in a variety of ways:

  • Students whose work is included in the repository are able to share their work with not only future transfer institutions or employers, but also with  a larger, more global academic community.
  • Current students are able to use SPARK to model their work after the successful work of others.
  • Students get real-world application of skills as they prepare their projects for publication.

Five years ago, SPARK began with a mission to highlight Parkland’s commitment to excellence in learning. As we look to the future of SPARK, that mission remains unchanged, and we are excited to welcome not only new student work but also to begin using SPARK as a platform for sharing educational resources created by Parkland faculty.

[Cheri Cameron is the archivist at the Parkland College Library.]

Catch the Harvest Moon Eclipse This Weekend

The skies should be great for viewing the “harvest Moon” that will pass into the shadow of the Earth, resulting in a total lunar eclipse, this Sunday evening (September 27).

If you want to view the eclipse more closely, stop by the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College, beginning at 8 p.m. The CU Astronomical Society will have telescopes set up outside in the bus drop-off drive. Park in the M-1 lot and walk over.

Unlike their solar counterparts, lunar eclipses are very safe to observe. It is just like looking at a full Moon in the sky, but it will appear as if something is taking a bite out of the Moon! If skies are clear, anyone in the Midwest should be able to see the eclipse from their backyard.

The Moon will begin to enter the dark part of the Earth’s shadow at 8:07 p.m. The Moon will be completely inside the Earth’s shadow by 9:11 p.m. and will begin to emerge from the shadow by 10:23 p.m. The full Moon will appear back in the night sky by 11:27 p.m.

This full Moon will be closest to the autumn equinox, traditionally called the “harvest Moon,” with an eclipse midpoint occurring just 59 minutes after the Moon’s closest approach to the Earth, also called “perigee.” Some have called a full Moon near perigee a “supermoon.”

There are two things to look for while you’re watching this eclipse. The first is the curved shadow of the Earth. In ancient times, this was evidence that the Earth was, in fact, round and not flat. Second, after the eclipse is well underway, look for a reddish tint on the Moon. The red is from sunlight that bends through the Earth’s atmosphere. The blue is scattered out, which is why we have blue skies, leaving the red part of the spectrum to strike the Moon.

The next total lunar eclipse easily visible from central Illinois won’t be until January 2019, so I hope you get a chance to catch this one! (If the weather isn’t perfect, call the CUAS hotline at 217/351-2567 to see if the observing event at the planetarium is still occurring.)

New Technology at Parkland: Part 3

Below, Parkland Library Administrative Assistant Sarah Meilike shares how faculty, staff, and students have been using Parkland’s MakerBot Replicator 2, with its 3D modeling and printing technology, for practical applications on campus. Sarah also demonstrates the new system in an upcoming video to be shown during the Pygmalion Tech Fest.
**Parkland is a presenting partner of the Pygmalion Festival, September 23-27, which includes a Tech Festival on Friday, Sept., 25 at Krannert Center in Urbana. The Tech Festival is FREE for all Parkland students with a valid ID.**

**********

 

What the MakerBot Replicator 2 Is and What It Does
We purchased our 3D printer, a MakerBot Replicator 2, in December 2013. Since then, we have been working with faculty and staff to promote it and engage students. In particular, Assistant Professor Derek Dallas, who teaches compter graphics, has been a wonderful resource for this goal. He incorporated the 3D printer into his 3D Animation class curriculum during the fall 2014 semester. This project brought his students into the library and exposed them to the technology; many of them have returned for personal projects.

We have provided demonstrations of the 3D printer to classes that request them. Kari Couch and Dave Wilson of Computer Science and Information Technology have both brought several classes in each semester to see the printer in action, learn about the software associated with it, and discuss its impact on the evolution of technology.

What We Can Do with The Technology
One of the most practical applications we’ve seen is Derek Dallas working with Natural Sciences Department Chair Scott Siechen to create an anesthetization box for flies. Anesthetizing flies is something Scott’s classes do regularly, but the cost of the boxes are fairly high. Derek was able to design a working box at a much lower cost.

 

Celebrate Surgical Technology Week with Us!

Happy National Surgical Technology Week!

This week, we celebrate the profession of surgical technology. Do you know what a surgical technologist is or does in surgery?

We serve as an integral part of the surgical team, standing next to and across from the surgeon during all surgical procedures. We’re either

  • handling the instrumentation and the medications for the patient
  • helping handle tissue, or
  • troubleshooting any thing that may arise.

We are credentialed professionals and vital surgical team members.

Mvc-040In 1979, the very first evening I worked at a large hospital in St. Louis, I experienced a procedure where a patient came in with incredible and life-threatening injuries. While I was overwhelmed, I knew that I had chosen the right career field, because we worked as a team, the surgeon, the assistants, and the nurses. With very little verbal communication, everyone knew what to do.

We have to think on our feet everyday and stay focused on the goal. I love the challenge of always trying to anticipate the surgeon’s moves to be the best surgical technologist. I still enjoy the intensity as well as the gentle care we provide patients in order to produce the best outcomes possible.

So, let’s celebrate the hidden health care team member!
Join us for Open House Mock Operating Rooms this week.

Tuesday 1-3 p.m. and Friday 10-noon in Room L143

Questions? C ontact Carolyn Ragsdale, program director, at cragsdale@parkland.edu.

Keys to Persistence: Black Student SUCCESS Project

I founded The Black Student SUCCESS Project in 2008 with a goal of increasing the retention and graduation rates of Black students at Parkland College.  I drew heavily from Dr. Vincent Tinto’s Departure Theory, which states that academic integration and social integration are keys to persistence for college students, particularly students of color.

BSSPThe idea for this project is to provide interesting and relevant activities and programs designed to create opportunities for students to learn, engage, connect, and dare I say it?  Have fun!  We have talked about academic topics: Test Anxiety, Gen Eds, and Career planning. We’ve discussed tough social issues: AIDS and the Black Community, Domestic Violence, and Race Relations.  We also have addressed Emotional Intelligence and Healthy Relationships, and every spring, we enjoy the University of Illinois Black Chorus.

Black Student SUCCESS Project workshops have become the best-attended on campus, and all students all welcome.  Look for our posters and flyers around campus and drop by.

***Our next workshop is this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1-2 p.m. in Room U140.   Chief Bill Colbrook will share on keeping safe, underage drinking, and how to interact with the police.  It should be a good one.***

Stop by. We’d love to have you.

[Donna Tanner-Harold is a counselor in Parkland’s Counseling and Advising Center and coordinates Black Student Success Project activities.]

New Technology at Parkland: Part 2

Below, Earth Science Professor Julie Angel shares how Parkland’s new Augmented Reality Sandbox (ARS) helps students “see the lay of the land” to improve map-reading skills. Julie also demonstrates the new system in an upcoming video to be shown during the Pygmalion Tech Fest.
**Parkland is a presenting partner of the Pygmalion Festival, September 23-27, which includes a Tech Festival on Friday, Sept., 25 at Krannert Center in Urbana. The Tech Festival is FREE for all Parkland students with a valid ID.**

************

 

I am thankful to teach at an institution that values the use of innovative technology and the role it plays in student success! Collaboration between the Parkland College Department of Natural Sciences, Campus Technologies, and our Physical Plant during summer 2015 resulted in the construction and implementation of an “Augmented Reality Sandbox” (ARS).

Why the ARS Was Created and What It Does 
This recently developed, hands-on, real-time modeling system was designed and created by scientists at UC Davis’ W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES) in cooperation with UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, and the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Burlington, Vermont. The sandbox system was developed as part of an NSF-funded project to teach earth science concepts through 3D visualization applications. These institutions have graciously shared instructions for building the sandbox as well as the powerful software that produces a variety of graphic effects and simulations.

Earth Science will be using this technology to continue our practice of hands-on learning. We find that students understand difficult and sometimes abstract earth processes when they have the opportunity to use their visual and tactile senses to explore those processes.

Earth Science students work with the ARS during their topographic map lab, where learning outcomes focus on reading and interpreting topographic maps. These maps contain natural and man-made features such as rivers, roads, and towns, along with a second dimension: topographic contour lines. Contour lines show areas of equal elevation across the map and the rise and fall of the land surface, the “lay of the land.” Map reading is slowly becoming a lost skill, so many students have had little to no experience with maps, especially those that feature contour lines.

How Students Learn from the New Technology
The sandbox, and its ability to produce 3D topographic models, allows students and instructors to create their own landscapes and to see the overlay of contour lines on their custom land surface. Students engage critical thinking skills when creating their personalized landscapes, with the freedom to create mountains, valleys, streams, volcanoes, and other earth landforms. The opportunity to read and interpret the contour lines projected onto the 3D sandbox topography develops knowledge and skills that are transferred to more effectively reading and interpretating contour lines on a traditional 2D map.

Earth Science also focuses on the interaction between humans, the solid earth, and its atmosphere. In geology, we study surface streams and the potential for flooding in low-lying areas. Would you believe we are able to produce virtual rain with the ARS? The students can wave their hands above the surface (or use a “Storm on a Stick”) and produce rain over a specific region of the sand topography. This allows us to create models that include natural and man-made features (levees, homes, roads, etc.) to predict where flooding will occur and the effect it will have on human and natural landscapes.

Mass wasting is a process by which earth materials move downslope under the influence of gravity. Think landslides, slow creep of material down a hillside, falling rock, etc. As you can imagine, mass wasting occurs in most every landscape on earth, but can be catastrophic in areas where the terrain is steep. Here in Illinois, we don’t think much about the danger of landslides, but it’s on the minds of the people of southern California on a day-to-day basis! We can create models with the ARS to promote critical thinking by visualizing and predicting areas that are at highest risk for mass wasting.

The possibilities are endless for promoting student success by creating meaningful, realistic exercises that capitalize on the powerful modeling capabilities of the ARS!

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.

Parkland Day 2015!

Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, and Retirees!

Join Parkland College on Saturday, September 12 at 9 a.m. for our annual  “Parkland Day” tailgate!

  • A $10 tailgate ticket includes Italian beef or veggie wrap and iced tea/lemonade. Coolers are welcome.
  • Purchase a $10 football ticket* to see the  Western Illinois vs. Illinois game (11 a.m. kickoff).

Student-Only Special: $10 for both the football game and tailgate!

The tailgate will be in Lot 31, off of Kirby Avenue.  Attend both events or buy tickets for the tailgate only. See you there!

*Football tickets will be on sale in Room U111 until 9/10. Call the Office of Student Life for more information: 217/351-2492.

Five Common Banking Misconceptions

Banking and banks have been around for centuries, yet most of us know very little about how banking works. Check out these five common fallacies about today’s banking system from Jim Smith, a local bank manager and one of Business and Agri-Industries’ newest part-time instructors.

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Here are five common misconceptions about banking:

  1. Banks are insured by the federal government.

While bank deposits are insured by FDIC, which stands for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, some banks are not. Banks pay a premium to be insured by the FDIC, just like any other insured entity.

  1. Banks lend out customer deposits.

Banking hasn’t worked this way for a long time. Banks make adjustments to balance sheets, assets, and liabilities, essentially lending out money from the very loans they issue.

  1. Banks have lots of cash in their vaults.

The total physical US currency supply is about 1.2 trillion dollars, and only about a third of that is in the US. Most banks keep relatively little cash on hand and prefer to handle physical currency as little as possible.

  1. Central banks are all powerful.

The Federal Reserve Act does give central banks some impressive powers, but they have no power over credit rating agencies. Many hedge fund and wealth funds that act as banks are also not under Federal Reserve authority, neither are many international banks.

  1. Banks alone control interest rates.

Credit rating agencies have as much if not more influence over interest rates than banks; their ratings determine the cost of loans.

So were you surprised? The way banking works has changed over the centuries, and other countries with different financial systems have different banking procedures. Whether you are a consumer who uses banks every day or a financial executive who interacts with our banking system, you will benefit by knowing how the system works.

Join us for Parkland’s new course, BUS 171 – Principles of Banking, and get your banking education underway!

——

An introduction to banking and financial services, BUS 171 will focus on bank terminology, financial performance, managing risk and sources of funds, and lending policies and procedures. Course instructor is Jim Smith, and the course textbook is Bank Management and Financial Services by Peter Rose and Sylvia Hudgins, Richard Irwin Publishing.

Parkland will offer BUS 171 beginning this fall semester, Aug. 24–Dec. 16. Class will meet on Wednesdays, 6–8:45 p.m. in Room B134. The course is 3 credit hours, has no prerequisite, and may be applied toward our Business Management AAS degree.

Sign up now; registration for the course ends Aug. 18!

[Bruce Henrikson is chair of the Business and Agri-Industries department at Parkland.]

Summer Youth Internship at Giertz Gallery

giertz2logoThe Giertz Gallery Summer Internship Program is wrapping up its pilot year. Funded by a Summer Youth Employment in the Arts (SYEA) grant from the Illinois Arts Council, this paid internship offers two recently graduated high school students interested in the arts an opportunity to gain employment skills in an art-related setting to inform their career paths, build self-confidence, and provide a source of income for the summer.

We thoroughly have enjoyed working with our first summer interns, Katie Tabeling and Alexis Walter (above, l. to r.). Katie, a graduate of the High School of St. Thomas More, will be attending Eastern Illinois University in the fall. Alexis, just out of Champaign Centennial High School, will be attending Parkland College this fall.

Our interns assisted the gallery staff with installing artwork for the current exhibition, “Around the Block”; served as gallery monitors; curated and installed a mini-exhibition in the Hospitality corridor; and learned about the care and handling of artwork.  For the Hospitality corridor, they curated a group of artworks from the Student Art Permanent Collection, which has been compiled over the years through the purchase of student artwork to be used as a teaching tool for future Parkland students. The interns also met with art educators to learn about outreach and art education and with Parkland College Marketing and Public Relations staff to learn about graphic design and promotions. Lastly, the two students helped prepare gallery fundraising activities that will occur this fall.

Katie and Alexis recently shared their experiences of being part of the summer exhibition setup and curating the permanent collection display. I have included some of their reflections below.

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Katie

“Getting an internship at Parkland College has given me great insight into what it is actually like to work in a gallery. Working in an environment that allows me to focus my creative energies in a productive way is something I’ve always thought to be an important quality in my future career.

For the summer show, Giertz Gallery, in collaboration with 40 North, organized the exhibition Around the Block: Artists From our Neighborhood. Like the title says, this show embraces art made by local artists in the Champaign-Urbana area and beyond. Being able to meet the artists behind the work gave me insight to their art in a way that a viewer might not get just by looking at the piece. Along with meeting the artists, I was able to meet the juror of the show, Aron Packer. Talking to him and getting to learn about the exhibit gave me more insight into the selection process.

The works chosen complement one another and showcase the talent in our community. Something all the artwork has in common is a strong sense of color. Because of this, the works needed to be arranged in a way that they would enhance one another without overpowering the space. The pieces are arranged by similarities in color, shape, style, and subjects. This allows the viewer to fully enjoy each piece. All of the hard work that went into making the Around the Block exhibit was emphasized by how successful the reception was. It was a great experience getting to meet some of the many people who are keeping the art community in our region alive as well as learning about the process a gallery goes through when preparing for a show.”

interns2
Alexis and Katie prepare to mount the Hospitality corridor art works.

Alexis 

“When Katie and I were asked to help put up some newer artwork on exhibit at Parkland, we knew we had a lot of different locations to choose from. One of the areas available to us was a hallway near the Hospitality program area. So, because this area is close to a kitchen, we decided to look for food-related pieces to include in the exhibit.

After looking at so many different pieces, we finally narrowed it down to eight pieces that we liked and also thought went together. While we kept the theme of food, we were able to include works that were prismacolor, charcoal, graphite, and watercolor. With the help of art history instructor Laura O’Donnell, the collection coordinator for the Giertz Gallery, we got all the pieces matted and ready to hang on the wall. With the help of both Lisa Costello, gallery director, and Ms. O’Donnell, Katie and I managed to put together a cohesive mini-collection for all of Parkland to see!”

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There will be a small curatorial talk by our summer art interns on Wednesday, August 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Giertz Gallery. This event is free and open to the public. Programs at Giertz Gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Expand Your World: Foreign Language Study

What are some benefits of studying a foreign language?

In addition to fulfilling the language requirement that some of Parkland’s 4-year partner institutions have, studying a foreign language is a great way to expand your mind and your world. According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), language learning can benefit all students. Specifically, language learning boosts the development of reading skills, and it correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized tests.

Interestingly, research has also shown a correlation between language learning and students’ ability to hypothesize in science.

Parkland College offers instruction in 6 foreign languages:
Arabic
French
German
Japanese
Portuguese
Spanish

Don’t be afraid to try a new language; you’ll never know whether you like it unless you try it. Plus, as described earlier, even a small degree of language study has advantages. Check out Parkland’s class schedule for the upcoming semester to see when a language class you are interested in is being offered.

(For more research on the benefits of language learning, visit www.actfl.org.)

[Wendy Patriquin, interim director of the Humanities department,  specializes in English as a Second Language.]

Students: Manage Your Finances with $ALT

Do you need help keeping up with student loans, finding scholarship money, or generally getting a handle on your debt? Parkland has a new tool that can assist you, and it’s free.

SALT_bannerParkland has partnered with American Student Assistance® to provide you with SALT, a free financial education and debt management program. SALT makes it rewarding, easy, and fun to make smart decisions about your money and student loan borrowing and take control of your finances.

Through SALT, you can plan and track student loans and repayment options; create a manageable budget; learn about credit and debt management, saving, and investing; and find scholarships, internships, and jobs. SALT members receive access to the following:

• A scholarship search tool
• A job and internship search tool
• Interactive online lessons on personal finances (My Money 101)
• Proactive communication about student loan repayment options
• One-on-one repayment counseling with student loan experts
• Self-serve online tools and calculators

Sign up today at saltmoney.org/parklandcollege. For more information on navigating the SALT website, a video is available here. Students with questions about managing their loans can:

• Call loan support at 877/523-9473 or email loanhelp@saltmoney.org
• Text Contact to 51303 (This will provide information on how to speak with a loan counselor)
Chat with SALT

 

[Tim Wendt is Parkland’s director of enrollment services.]

 

Welcome to the Maker Movement

In one of his most famous speeches, Robert Kennedy spoke for innovators when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

Like Mr. Kennedy, there have always been humans discontent with things “the way they are.” They have been called different names—inventor, scientist, artist, daydreamer—but they are all united under the burning question of “why not?”

Sculpture student using a Dremel tool to make a hand sculpture.
Sculpture

Today, many people asking that question have found a home in the Maker Movement. Makers imagine new things, experiment, and bring their ideas to life. They often complete this process in the company of others, as Makers recognize the value of sharing ideas and resources. An intentionally broad and inclusive label, anyone, from amateur to professional, is welcome to call themselves a Maker. According to makerfaire.com, Makers are a “growing community of creative and curious people,” and a “wellspring of innovation.” They are immersed in their desire to solve problems, to add beauty to everyday life, and to fashion a better future.

Parkland art student drawing a still life.
Drawing

Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts Department offers opportunities to participate in the Maker Movement. In this blog post, we highlight our Art Program, where faculty members—all working artists and definitely Makers—lead classes in which students paint, draw, compose photographs, solder metal, mold clay and otherwise transform lifeless materials. Students get hands-on, experiential learning in fully equipped workshops. They receive the space and time to think creatively and communicate visually. Like the Maker Movement, all students are welcome and encouraged to join.

Parkland student soldering in a metals class.
Metalworking & Jewelry

Giertz Gallery Director and Metals instructor Lisa Costello offers her take on the popularity of the Maker Movement, and its connection to Art courses.

“As human beings, we are not only built to be consumers, but we have a strong desire to be sensitive makers,” she said. “A huge part of our brains are geared toward small motor skills, attention to detail and the need for thoughtful creativity and problem solving. We offer classes that meet these needs.

“Some of our students are interested in eventually setting up their own studio, perhaps selling on Etsy or in galleries; some already have a degree and are looking to expand how they understand the world; and some take the classes as an elective to enrich their educational experience. It is a great time to take an art class and feed that creative desire, no matter where it stems from.”

If you’re intrigued and ready to discover how you fit in to the Maker Movement, or if you’re already a proud Maker, you’ll find the materials and support you seek in Parkland’s Art classes. Register at parkland.edu/admissions, or by calling 217/351-2482. The payment deadline is August 18 for classes beginning August 24.

Classes are available in the following subjects:
Metals,  Drawing, Ÿ 3-Dimensional  Design,  2-Dimensional Design, Photography, Ÿ Painting,  Sculpture,  Ceramics

[Kate Ross is the promotions assistant for Fine and Applied Arts.]

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

Semester Countdown: 6 Tips to Prepare for Fall

Only six weeks remain until Parkland College’s Fall Semester 2015 begins.  Here are six tips to make the most of the time remaining. After all, just a little preparation can yield big dividends, such as a smoother transition into a new round of lectures, labs, and learning experiences!

  1. Register for classes; don’t wait. Walk-in hours are available at the Counseling and Advising Center. Mondays and Wednesdays are generally the best days for continuing students.
  2. Check on your financial aid or any other grants and scholarships you may be expecting to pay for your classes.
  3. Pay for classes online by August 4 or risk losing your schedule!
  4. Fall books will be available in the Bookstore August 10, so make sure you get what you need before the first day of class.
  5. Find your classes and the best places to park. Even if you have attended Parkland in the past, be sure to know where you’re going on that first day.
  6. Check out the Fall Convocation in the Student Union on Thursday, August 27, at noon. You’ll enjoy free food, a chance to win an iPad, and lots of information on Parkland student clubs and organizations.

[Tim Wendt is Parkland’s director of Enrollment Services.]

Parkland Faculty Top Picks by State Trustees

Parkland students think they are stellar. Parkland’s faculty sing their praises. Now, the state of Illinois’ community college trustees have added their stamp of approval.

The Illinois Community College Trustees Association, or ICCTA, has just selected Math Professor Erin Wilding-Martin as its Outstanding Full-time Faculty Member Award winner for 2015. The ICCTA also selected photography instructor Craig McMonigal to receive its Outstanding Part-time Faculty Member Award. These amazing teachers received their awards June 6 during the ICCTA annual conference.

Our Faculty Professional Development Committee selected Erin and Craig to be Parkland’s 2015 ICCTA Outstanding Faculty winners earlier this spring, which nominated them for statewide selection.

Erin Wilding-Martin
Erin Wilding-Martin

Erin has been praised by her colleagues and students as an exemplary and engaging teacher who is a leader in mathematics education both within Parkland and beyond. For example, one of her students who entered Erin’s course intimidated by mathematics praised her “enthusiasm for teaching, dedication to her students, and innovative program design.”  She said Erin helped her overcome her fear of mathematics and gave her an appreciation for the “value of an active learning environment.”

Erin’s doctoral study in the philosophy of mathematics education in community colleges prepared her for the challenge of leading the algebra/math literacy redesign that Parkland began in 2011. As one colleague summarized it, “the success of this project, which has gained national attention, is largely a result of Dr. Wilding-Martin’s extraordinary efforts on behalf of our students.”

Erin is currently on the Developmental Mathematics Committee of the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges (AMATYC) and has served on AMATYC’s Research in Mathematics Education for Two-Year Colleges Committee. She has an article published in the Philosophy of Education Society.

Craig McMonigal
Craig McMonigal

 

Craig is a 21-year faculty member who has been praised by colleagues for his commitment to the college, the program, and the students. Described as an integral part of Parkland’s Art and Design program, Craig developed new courses in photography, implemented innovative techniques, and worked to help create the Associate in Applied Science in Photography program.

One Art and Design colleague says Craig is “eager to accept new responsibilities, helping the Art and Design program, and the photography degree within the Communication program, to grow by actively supporting assessment and the development of new curriculum.”  Craig uses humor to keep students engaged and, as one student affirms,  he “was instrumental in making learning about photography— and myself— fun. He is a great teacher; if possible I would choose him for all my classes.” Craig is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education and has served as the Parkland representative on the Illinois Higher Education Art Association.

 

Congratulations, Erin and Craig— Parkland College is proud to have such fine faculty!

 

 

Men vs. Women Target Practice in Ballistics Lab

Learning to investigate manner of death is a part of criminal justice, but it’s not the doom-and-gloom process you might imagine. In fact, Professor John Moore and his Forensic Science II: Death Analysis class (SCI 208) had quite a ‘blast’ at it recently.

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After searching unsuccessfully for a way to build “ping-pong ball cannons” for the ballistics lab section of SCI 208, Natural Sciences Administrative Assistant Karen Rocha stumbled across what are called “K-9 Kannons,” which are simply glorified tennis ball launchers. They work great—used incorrectly, they can actually launch ping-pong balls, too!

It's women vs. men in Forensic Science II: Death Analysis.
It’s women vs. men in Forensic Science II: Death Analysis.

Students were asked to hit a target (an open box on its side) at the far end of the lab, which requires a fast and flat trajectory (12–18” maximum ordinate). Following that, they were asked to “lob” a ball into the top of a box that is only a few feet away from the launcher, requiring a very slow and high trajectory (maximum ordinate approaching the ceiling). The goal was to adjust velocity and launch vectors to attempt to hit the target.

From a military perspective, the two tasks are the equivalent to a sniper and a mortar. In both classes, “teams” were set up men vs. women.

I am SO glad we decided to keep the high ceiling in that lab!

One of the guys launches downrange.
One of the guys launches downrange.

This spring, students only dealt with projectile velocity and the departure vector from the launcher. Next year, I will likely alter the actual mass of the projectiles, thus throwing them another variable to deal with.

(By the way, the guys took one of the sections, and the ladies took the other!)

To learn more about Parkland’s Forensic Science courses or other courses and programs in the Natural Sciences, visit the Natural Sciences web pages.

Food Service Sanitation Training Q&A

Business Training receives daily phone calls about registering for the in-demand Food Service Sanitation course.  Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers as well as important information.

  • How long is the class?
    In July 2014, the course became an 8-hour class with exam.
  • How do I re-certify?
    Effective July 1, 2014, food handlers must take an 8-hour Food Service Sanitation course and exam every five years for re-certification.
  • How much does the class cost?
    $149 + $49 for the required book and test.
  • In which languages are the exams available?
    The exam is available in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Burmese.
  • How do I get my results/certificate?
    If you provided a valid email address on your answer sheet, you’ll receive an email notice when your results are available. Click the link in the email to view your results, complete the required information to create a ServSafe.com User ID, and you can view your results. You can print your certificate by selecting the “Print My Certificate” option under the Student section of www.servsafe.com/ss/foodhandler. Parkland College Business Training will also mail you your results and certificate upon successful completion.  If you do not pass, you will also receive notification via mail.
  • Does my certificate expire?
    Yes. ServSafe Food Handler Certificates expire 3 years after the date of the Assessment was successfully passed.
  • Are their qualifications to take the course?  What will I get after the assessment?
    This course has no official prerequisite and may be completed by any individual that seeks knowledge of basic safe food handling procedures. The ServSafe Food Handler Assessment is designed to gauge the knowledge that has been delivered through the ServSafe Food Handler Course or comparable program. Individuals who receive a ServSafe Food Handler Certificate have successfully completed a Food Handler Course and have basic knowledge of the topics covered in the course.
  • When will my results be available?
    Results are typically available within two weeks after the National Restaurant Association receives the completed Exam Information Form and Answer Sheets sent from your instructor.
  • How do I take the exam if it’s not in my native language?
    If the exam is not available in your native language, you can utilize a native language-to-English dictionary during the exam.
  • When does Parkland College Business Training offer Food Service Sanitation courses?
    Click here to see our most current course offerings or call 217/351-2235.

Sign Up for Summer Fitness— Fun & a Brain Boost!

One of the best ways to get mentally sharp for summer and fall classes is to  exercise! According to Scientific American, AARP, and other sources, regular exercise boosts your mind by keeping your brain, heart, lungs, and muscles at high performance. Exercise also improves your mood and helps you handle mental tasks with greater ease.

So why not come back to Parkland this summer for low-cost exercise classes that keep your brain and body fit? Here are a few you’ll enjoy:

Five reasons to sign up for Core & More this summer:
1. Tone your tummy for swimsuit season!
2. Strengthen and stretch your back for gardening and yard work!
3. Improve your balance for safer walking, hiking, and outdoor activities!
4. Learn to stabilize your torso for better performance at your softball games (or be more comfortable sitting on those hard bleachers)!
5. Practice good posture for selfies and vacation photos!
Mondays @ 5:30pm

 

Fit For LifeFitness2
It’s more than an exercise class…it’s practice for daily living! Strengthen your muscles for lifting and playing with grandchildren, improve flexibility for housework or yard work, improve balance for fall prevention. And do it to fun, familiar music with friendly classmates!
Tuesdays @ 5:30pm

 

Zumba GolFitness1d
“I don’t have any rhythm!”
“I don’t know how to dance!”
“I can’t keep up with the instructor!”
Not a problem with Zumba Gold! As long as you like to move (even if you think you’re not any good at it) and enjoy fun international music, you can do this low-impact version of the popular dance exercise program! There’s no right or wrong, no complicated steps to memorize, no judgment! Join the party!
Mondays @ 9:30am or Wednesdays @ 5:30pm

For more information, http://www.parkland.edu/communityed
Call Community Education at 217/353-2055 to register today!

Cool Cars and Healthy Lungs: RT Had It Covered!

Parkland’s Respiratory Therapy Club showed up in fine fashion at the 16th Annual Car Show Saturday, teaching the public about lung health. The air we breathe is very important; exposing our lungs to noxious materials, chemicals, and gases can cause irreversible damage and may lead to lung disease.

Respiratory Therapy students at the annual car show pose with Cruella Deville and a few dalmatians.
Respiratory Therapy students at the annual car show pose with Cruella Deville and a few dalmatians.

Hundreds of spectators came out to the free Car Show, so it was a great venue to tell people how they can keep their lungs healthy–and we did this in fun ways! One team of students handed out fact sheets at our booth in front of the Parkhill Applied Technology Center. Another team conducted our Peak Flow Contest. Peak flow is a tool to measure how forcefully we can exhale while we’re breathing. Everyone who measured their “windiness” put their name in the drawing for great prizes donated by local businesses. (A third team of RT students had been responsible for finding those sponsors; they did a great job.) Finally, we sold soft drinks at the event to raise funds for the club.

RTserve at Car show
Students serve up soft drinks, snacks, and healthy lung education at Car Show.

Besides having a fun day at the auto show, our students were able to develop leadership and teamwork skills through the process. Most importantly, they learned the importance of service learning; they educated the public about lung disease in general, mostly concentrating on occupational hazards in our lives. These hazards can include exposures in certain workplaces (farming, welding, mining, even some factory workers may be at risk) as well as hobbies that introduce noxious substances into the lungs–hobbies using chemical solvents, different materials, and gases.

Please be aware of the air you’re breathing: Stay in well-ventilated areas, wear masks approved for the type of work that you’re doing (respirators), and stop to get fresh air when you feel lightheaded.

Repiratory Therapy students relax after giving lung health info to car show spectators.
Repiratory Therapy students relax after giving lung health info to car show spectators.

Beat the Line! A Few Reasons to Register Before Spring Semester Ends

Zach-web
Zach Trueblood is a sophomore English Literature major who writes for the Parkland Prospectus newspaper.

Do you often wonder why classes are so hard to get into right before the start of fall semester? This is due to the fact that enrollment for summer and fall semesters starts in the spring semester.

You’ve likely gotten email about registering, but perhaps it has fallen to the wayside, buried in correspondences from your professors. But as they say, the early bird gets the worm. Those students who have read that email or known about early registration are jumping on all of the “good” classes.

Not only are current students registering early, but new students are taking advantage of many orientations that start in the spring semester. These new students are also registering very early for summer and fall courses. This causes the best class sections to fill up even quicker.

The best part is, registering early helps alleviate the stress that comes with waiting until the last minute. The earlier you register, the more time you have to get your finances in order and enjoy some free time until the next semester starts. So, see your counselor or advisor and get registered now!

My College for Kids Experience

College for Kids participant Amelia Case, 11, looks forward to returning to CFK at Parkland College this year for more fun summer activities! Here’s why. 

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My name is Amelia and I will be going into sixth grade next year. I’ve been going to College for Kids since third grade and have enjoyed every class I took. Two of my favorites were Ceramics and Construction Junction.

In Ceramics, we learned how to make bowls, plates, and pencil holders out of clay. We shaped them and then put them in the kiln. After that, we got to paint them and take them home. It was really fun! In Construction Junction, we learned about Rube Goldberg machines and watched videos of them. Then we were split into groups of six to make one ourselves. We decorated ours to have a sea theme. On the last day, parents could come and watch it work. I liked this class a lot.

Another class I took was Create Your Own Webpage. We learned HTML and made our own webpages. It was really cool! The last class I took was Create Your Own Comics. I loved this class because it taught me a lot about cartooning and making comics. We made a book out of all the comics we made at the end and then took it home.

All the classes were great. College for Kids is so fun!

CFK 2013 Session 1 076a

Images by Amelia

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CFK Summer 2015 Sessions: June 15-25 and/or July 6-16
Monday-Thursday, 12:15-2:15pm and/or 2:30-4:30pm
Enjoy fun, interactive classes in arts, science, theatre, writing, computers, and much more, for students entering grades 3 through 8. Email collegeforkids@parkland.edu to be added to the mailing list.

***Remember, sign up starts May 4!

Dental Hygiene “Day of Healthy Smiles”

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Parkland College’s Dental Hygiene Program recently hosted its third annual “Day of Healthy Smiles.” There were plenty of smiles gained from that day, and not just from the patients.

More than 100 volunteers participated in the April 11th event, including dentists, oral surgeons, assistants, SmileHealthy staff, Ragle Dental Labs and Orthotechnologies, and Parkland Dental Hygiene, Surgical Technology, and Nursing program students, graduates, and faculty. One hundred and seven patients received free treatment of extractions, oral surgery, and fillings, and 15 patients received appliances to replace teeth.

Comments from our students confirm the impact this day of service has on their professional growth:

“The clinic day made me feel like I changed someone’s life,” Lauren Hea said. “That’s a big deal, to help people love themselves more and to gain confidence. It gave me the most indescribable feeling of happiness.”

“Today was a blast; everyone did such a wonderful job,” Ashton Rothweil said. “I never wanted it to end! But it really just reassured me that I went into the right profession. I’m so in love and cannot wait to get out there. Everyone I met was so inspiring!”

Lindsay Salinas called the clinic day a “once in a lifetime thing that I won’t ever be able to do again!

“I’m so glad to be a part of clinic day the past two years I’ve been at Parkland and to see how much patients are truly grateful!” Salinas said. “It was priceless and makes the entire day and all the planning worth it! It’s exciting to help be the reason someone is smiling again!”

The Parkland College Dental Hygiene Program is proud of the extra effort faculty, students, and the administrative assistant in the dental hygiene clinic give to prepare for and participate in this day.

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Dental Hygiene students and medical volunteers were hard at work restoring healthy smiles April 11.

 

Local dentist, graduate and dental hygiene student works together to provide care
Local dentist, graduate, and dental hygiene student work together to provide care.

[Peg Boyce is director of the Dental Hygiene Program at Parkland College.]

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.

What Are Your Kids Doing This Summer?

Do they want to write their own movie scripts? Make and decorate clay pottery? Perhaps they’d like to learn Kung Fu or how to operate a teleprompter. Or better yet—how about designing and 3D printing a cool toy?

College for Kids offers these classes and more!

A College for Kids participant works with Legos.
A College for Kids participant works with Legos.

College for Kids (CFK) is a summer program for students entering 3rd through 8th grades. For the last 35 years, CFK has offered two-week classes ranging from engineering to art, radio broadcasting to astronomy, and everything in between. Classes are hands-on, grade-free environments. This summer’s sessions are June 15–25 and July 6–16. Classes meet 12:15–2:15 p.m. and 2:30–4:30 p.m.

This summer, CFK is offering favorites like Lego Engineering, Lego Mindstorm, and Lights, Camera, Action, as well as new classes like Geometric String Design, Video Games from Scratch, and The Human Body. Portraits in Clay and Decorative Pots provide a new take on the classic ceramics class. Students have an opportunity to ferment their own food in the Extraordinary Science of Ordinary Food, or write their own screenplays in Introduction to Screenwriting.

IMG_1274Classes meet across the Parkland College campus, and CFK students use the same facilities as Parkland students. Parkland’s new Fine and Applied Arts building provides brand new, state-of-the-art studios for Kinetic Painting, Portraits in Clay, Decorative Pots, Papier Maché Studio, and Sculpture. The new Black Box Theatre will be an incredible and dramatic backdrop for Performance Art.

College for Kids in PCTV studio
College for Kids students learn video production.

College for Kids inspires students to develop a lifetime love of learning and questioning. Check out the rest of CFK’s classes here (www.parkland.edu/collegeforkids) and mark your calendar for the first day of registration—May 4!

College for Kids photo
Kids really enjoy College for Kids classes!

Registration for this summer’s program opens at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, May 4 . Session 1 meets Monday through Thursday, June 15 through June 25, and Session 2 meets Monday through Thursday, July 6 through 16. Classes are from 12:15-2:15 p.m. and 2:30- 4:30 p.m. Tuition for each class is $135 and includes all supplies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early. You can register online or in person at 1315 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign.

Parkland Nursing: A View from the Top

Hello. While most of you are on Spring Break, I am here, working to finally submit a blog post! I wanted to tell you a bit about the Nursing Program at Parkland College.

First of all, I am a 1984 graduate of Parkland. I continued school to achieve a doctorate in Nursing Practice, and I couldn’t be happier to be the head of the associate-degree nursing program at Parkland!

We have a great program, with a state board pass rate average of 93.8% for the past five years. Nationally, the 2014 pass rate was 82% and it was 84% statewide. This information is publicly available on the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) website for all schools.

Obtaining your registered professional nurse degree at Parkland allows you a cost-effective way to begin working as an RN as you pursue your BSN, like I did. If you are interested, please visit our website.

Happy Spring!
Dr. Diane Cousert

Need Placement Tests? PCAC is Ready for You

The Parkland College Assessment Center (PCAC) has kicked off placement testing for summer and fall 2015 semesters. Call now to make your appointment (217/351-2432).  We can schedule an appointment up to two weeks out.

New students must take placement tests in reading, writing, mathematics, or English as a Second Language, so that Parkland can match them with courses appropriate for their skill levels. Accurate placement is essential for success in college courses. (ACT, SAT, or TOEFL scores may exempt a student from placement testing.) PCAC also administers certification tests, board exams, and standardized tests such as the GED and CLEP exams.

Additional day for certification tests. Volume has drastically increased in our certification testing.  As a result, starting in April, PCAC will add Mondays to our current Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday lineup for certification testing.  For an appointment, go through the Pearson Vue, Castle Worldwide, and/or PSI websites.

PCAC is located in Room U203, on the second floor of the Student Union, northeast section. See you soon!

New “Parkland Spotlight” on WPCD 88.7

WPCD 88.7, first and foremost , has always been a learning lab for students taking COM 141 and 142 classes and a place were student DJs hone their skills at a 10,500-watt, alternative-rock FM radio station.

But WPCD also wants to be a voice for Parkland College.

To that end, the students of instructor Adam Porter’s COM 142 class have created a new radio series titled “The Parkland Spotlight,” which will air each Wednesday at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. now through the rest of the spring semester.

On the show (which is pre-recorded), students will interview various faculty and staff from around the college, to find out what is happening in their program or their department and to shine some light on people and events that you may not know much about.

We hope this series will continue from semester to semester with each new group of students in the COM 142 course and that it will not only provide a “spotlight” on those who make Parkland the great learning institution it is, but also create a closer connection between students and the faculty and staff here at Parkland College.

As always, feel free to stop by the WPCD studio and see if there is anything we can do to help you get more exposure for your programs, special events, and activities. We want to be a voice for Parkland College.

Come, Help at the Science Olympiad March 7!

Come and share your love of science with middle school and high school students! Parkland College will again host the annual regional Science Olympiad tournament Saturday, March 7.

Our Science Olympiad draws hundreds of students from over a dozen area schools. Students will be working hands-on to solve problems across a variety of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and technology. The top teams will get a chance to compete at the state tournament, which takes place at the U of I on April 18.

Each team will participate in 23 events, spread out across campus. If you check out the Student Union, you may find students testing bungee cords or operating robots. The X wing will have students building bridges and Rube Goldberg devices. Students will be operating vehicles they designed to move on the ground or through the air in the gym. Others will be studying insects and fossils in the L wing and solving crimes in the M wing.

The regional Science Olympiad is a great way to get students excited about science! Volunteers for this event will be provided with breakfast and lunch on Saturday. If you are interested in helping run these events, you can sign up to volunteer here: http://vols.pt/GMJidW.  You can find a list of participating schools here.

Why One International Student Flies

“Why do you want to be a pilot?” Many people ask me that question followed by whether my plane has a bathroom.  No, it does not. Normally I would answer, “you know, it’s cool to fly.” And shrug. But writing this piece made me think about the real reasons why I cannot give up flying.

More Friendliness
I am from Beijing, a city that has 21 million people. Everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere, and there are hardly any interpersonal relationships. Strangers never smile at strangers, and I don’t know my neighbors. The city looks heated but cold.

I always say this to people about flying: ”Think about it: If you are stuck in a 3 by 4 square-foot box for six hours, you need to be a nice person.” This is how I feel when I am at the Institute of Aviation. I don’t feel distant to anyone: the experienced check pilots, the 65-year-old student pilot, the “top-off, please” fuel guy, the Flightstar staff, or the air traffic controllers whom I have never met. There is one thing that connects us, aviation. But it is never dull because every one of us shines in his or her own way.

More Females
I will emphasize one of the pronouns I just used: his or HER. Everybody knows that aviation is a tough field for women. The female representation is tiny, and I just found out that out of the 1.4 billion people in my country, there are only 142 female airline pilots.

But at the Institute of Aviation, I am proud of our female representation. We have a female chief pilot whom we all look up to. We have girls trying to be pilots at the age of 16. This is a very special feeling for me, seeing the strong women empowerment at the institute. My family, which holds the Asian conservative value most dear, believes that I should have a life that a girl “should have,” that is, get a stable salary job and be a great mother. I am completely okay with this idea, but I am going to connect that job with flying airplanes. Even with all the pressure from my family, I never thought I would give up flying. Thanks to all the examples at the Institute of Aviation, I am more determined than ever.

More Freedom to Ask
Thinking in a second language is hard; now imagine flying using a second language. I never wanted to admit that this is an obstacle because I want my instructors to treat me the same as everybody else. But sometimes, it does take an extra question. My education until the day I entered college was “do as I am told.” If my teacher told me that a hexagon is a beehive, then it could never be anything else. This might be an exaggeration, but we were afraid to ask questions.

But when it comes to training to be a safe pilot, one of the most important reminders we receive here is “never be afraid to ask your controllers.” Now, according to Bill (my instrument rating instructor), I am his “I have a question” and “I completely understand” girl.

Aviation has reshaped my entire life. I transformed from the girl who almost settled to be an accountant for the rest of her life to a proud female pilot. The University of Illinois led me to the love of my life, and Parkland College saved it.

So you want to know why I want to fly airplanes? Well… you will have to experience it yourself.

 

[Fran Tao, a student from China, is taking flight training at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

Early College & Career Academy Coming Fall 2015

Do you know an area high school student who wants a head start on a new career? Education for Employment System #330, along with Parkland College, is happy to announce the launch of its Early College and Career Academy, or ECCA, beginning fall 2015.

The new academy will allow high school juniors and seniors to enroll in dual credit classes at the Parkland campus. Six programs will be offered in its debut:  automotive technology, computer networking, criminal justice, certified nursing assistant, emergency medical services, and manufacturing.

Of course, Parkland has offered dual credit classes for some time now. However, ECCA students will not only receive dual credit; they will learn valuable hands-on skills to prepare them for the workforce. Several programs are even aligned with Parkland certificates and/or state licenses.

Transportation to and from Parkland, as well as funding provided for the program, will be determined by the students’ home high schools. This is a great opportunity for students in our area to experience higher education while still in high school and get a head start on their career goals.

Students who are interested should contact their high school guidance counselor. Information is also available at www.parkland.edu/ecca. The EFE #330/ECCA office can be reached at 217/355-1382.

 

[Renae Kirkton is the special projects coordinator for EFE System #330.]

Student Mentor Wins Scholarship! Find Yours

Congratulations to Parkland College Latino student mentor Alan Perez Cruz, awarded a Parkland College scholarship!

Over the past six months, Alan (center, in photo) has been a Comadre y Compadre mentor for four incoming Latina/o students at Parkland College. He has played an instrumental role in the program’s effort to increase the persistence rate of Latina/o students. He has done an exceptional job of infusing his previous leadership experience to genuinely connect and refer his mentees to campus resources.

In addition to his employment with the Comadre y Compadre Program, Alan has had to work more than 30 hours a week to support his educational dream of attaining a degree in business administration. He is a highly motivated and driven student. Being a scholarship recipient has provided him the validation that he is on the right path towards achieving his educational dreams. Most importantly, the financial support from this scholarship allows him to devote more time and energy to his academics.

More than $10,000 in scholarship funds are still available for Parkland College students for the spring 2015 semester, and scholarships for the fall semester will be available starting early next month! Please consider checking out the entire list of scholarships at my.parkland.edu under the student services tab.

Join Alan in being a Parkland College scholarship recipient!

What goes up must come down! New exhibition in the Giertz Gallery

Gallery helpers remove vinyl lettering to make room for new exhibit title.

The incoming work sits in gallery storage until it is time to install the show during installation week. The gallery puts a “Closed for Installation” sign on the door, and our tool carts appear along with our ladder. We “spot the show,” which is museum jargon for designing the exhibition and placing the artwork. We make measurements, let our hammers fly, place vinyl signage and labels, mount artist statements on the wall, and add lighting to the works. Hopefully, the dust settles before we open our doors on Monday morning!

Have you seen the latest exhibit in Parkland College’s Giertz Gallery? It features large-scale paintings by Wisconsin artist Tom Berenz. Berenz is a busy artist with a lot of exhibits on his resume. His artwork is full of contradictions, both in terms of formal elements and content. His artist statement says it best: “I am interested in blurring the lines between realism and abstraction, life and death, beauty and horror, devastation and sublime. Everything we live with as Americans is delicately balanced—the cars (magic carpets/death traps), houses (castles/prisons), and wilderness (paradise/oblivion).”

Art work being inspected
Large canvas in crate (upside down and wrapped in plastic) being inspected upon delivery

I look forward to giving tours and being able to hear interpretations coming from our students on the exhibits. I have already overheard some students analyzing Berenz’s work and disagreeing! One says, “The work captures the moment in time immediately after an explosion; you can see things settling in the aftermath!” and another says, “I see litter and the damage that we do to our environment. Also, it looks like a picnic. Is that a watermelon?” It will be interesting to read what they write in their papers!

I hope you are able to visit the gallery, enjoy the work, and draw your own conclusions.

Presently Absent: Works by Tom Berenz will be on exhibit at the Giertz Gallery at Parkland College now through March 31. The gallery is always free, and everyone is welcome. For more information about the gallery visit www.parkland.edu/gallery and sign up for our email updates.

Computer Science, IT Jobs, Internships Are Waiting

Parkland students: Did you know that in the past year, we have had 65 businesses contact us directly to advertise positions in Information Technology (IT) on our job board?

In fact, in January 2015 alone we had 9 new job postings!

Computer and IT-related industries are continually seeking Parkland College students for internship possibilities, as well as full-time and part-time jobs.

Some of these employers have included Human Kinetics, University of Illinois, Amdocs, Wolfram, and Carle.

What do you need to do to find out about these opportunities?

1)  Go to our online Job Board.  Also make sure to check your Parkland email periodically for mailings regarding job openings.

2) Browse the online posts for positions that may be a good fit for you.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a position that interests you the first time, as we are adding jobs all the time.

3) Find out how the employer prefers to receive your information, and submit your qualifications!

Computer science and IT opportunities for training are out there, waiting for you. What a great way to gain experience as you are continuing your education in the IT field! Don’t let them pass you by!

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[Cyndia Hinton is program manager for Parkland’s Computer Science and Information Technology department. She can be reached at  217/353-2414.]

Applying for a Health Career Program? Act Fast

March 1 is right around the corner, so if you are interested in applying to one of Parkland’s Health Professions programs, now is the time!

To enter most of our programs, students must go through a “Selective Admissions” process.  What does this mean?  Here are the main points:

  • Each program has specific admission criteria and minimum requirements.
  • A student must specifically “apply” to one particular program.
  • Program-specific classes can only be taken by students admitted to the program.
  • Application deadlines are specific.
  • Admissions are competitive; even though you meet minimum requirements, you may not be accepted.

The best way to learn more about our Selective Admissions process is to visit our website and watch our “Get the Facts” presentation at www.parkland.edu/healthprofessions.

While you’re at the website, take a look around and check out our different Health Professions programs. When you click on a program, it will take you to that program’s website for more information.

So, are there any programs that are not Selective Admissions?  Yes; the Nurse Assistant and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic are one-semester courses that will only be available to sign up for during our normal registration periods. However, both of these classes have requirements, so please take the time to visit those websites. The Nurse Assistant program has state requirements that need to be completed before registering.

These are the programs with March 1 deadlines:

Dental Hygiene
Dietary Manager
Emergency Medical Services: Paramedic
Massage Therapy
Medical Assisting
Nursing: ADN – Registered Nursing
Nursing: LPN – Practical Nursing
Nursing: LPN to ADN Bridge
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Radiologic Technology
Respiratory Care
Surgical Technology
Veterinary Technology

Please visit our website for more information and handy  “Are you ready to apply?” checklists for each program: http://www.parkland.edu/healthprofessions

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at mspading@parkland.edu. See you around campus!

Michele Spading
Vice Chair Health Professions Student Affairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Veterans: Quick Tips on Using Your Benefits

 

Fresh from military duty and looking to begin (or finish) your degree for a new career? You can find lots of help to do just that at Parkland College, through the Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Services.

Kristina Taylor, veterans coordinator in the financial aid office, has a few tips for you on how to make the most of the GI Bill and other veterans benefits you have earned. Just click on the image above to begin the video.

Parkland College thanks you for honorably serving our country.

What’s the Rumbling in the Dome?

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College will open a brand new show on the Jan. 16/17 weekend titled Supervolcanoes!

Supervolcanoes will show at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights through February. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students, seniors and children under 12, with all tickets being sold at the door.

supervolcanoes

Imagine a scene 74,000 years ago, on the island of Sumatra: A volcanic eruption triggers the sudden and violent collapse of a vast plateau. Toba was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger! About 250 million years ago, an eruption in what’s now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth’s history.

Narrated by famed English actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Supervolcanoes looks back at rare classes of eruptions that have marshaled the energy that churns beneath the surface of planet Earth. Is a supervolcano lurking beneath Yellowstone Park?

Thanks to Parkland’s Earth Science coordinator, the planetarium also has a display in the lobby containing different kinds of volcanic rock, including two types of rock from Hawaii and some ash from the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

For more information on planetarium programs, visit our website or call the show hotline at 217/351-2446.

What can you do with an English degree?

It’s a question I’ve heard over and over again: “What are you planning on doing with an English degree?” This is frequently accompanied by derision and/or unsolicited advice to change my major to something more lucrative.

Perhaps there is more job security in nursing and more financial stability in a business or engineering degree, but I believe it is far more rewarding to study what you love and, personally, I am happier around words than I am around numbers.

So, getting back to that pesky question, here are some things you can do with an English degree:

Teaching

This one is pretty obvious—I think many people automatically assume this is what most English majors plan to do with their degree. And while teaching is certainly not all that is available to English majors, it is nonetheless an excellent option. Elementary and secondary school teachers require teaching certifications, and college professors need a master’s degree.

Pre-professional Programs

College students majoring in English tend to be very well-rounded in their educations. They are taught to write well, analyze ideas, and communicate skillfully. This is why many with an English BA further their studies in fields like law, medicine, and business.

Publishing

People with English degrees are conversant in researching, editing, reading, and writing, and this makes them a good fit for jobs within the publishing industry. While these kinds of jobs are a little harder to come by, it is possible to work your way up through jobs such as an editorial assistant or a proofreader/copyeditor, or through internships.

Writing

This is another occupation that English majors are naturally suited for, but as with publishing, these jobs can be difficult to secure. Writing is also a multifaceted field—it includes journalism, technical writing, scientific writing, creative writing, and copywriting. Any Parkland College English major interested in writing should look at all their college transfer options for Writing minors or concentrations to accompany their English major upon transfer.

Advertising, Podcasts, Public Relations, Research Assisting, Speechwriting, Travel Writing, Movie Critiquing

The list goes on! There are tons of jobs out there for English majors, and a great place to find out more about it is Parkland’s Career Center in the U wing. You can take a career test and find out exactly what you’re suited for. Make sure you know all your options, and have fun exploring them!

[Marnie Leonard is a Parkland College Student Ambassador.]

University of Illinois Students Take Classes at Parkland College

I will bet that most University of Illinois students are not aware of how many of their fellow students are taking courses at Parkland College while attending Illinois. The numbers might surprise you, because so many are taking our online courses; thus, they are almost in “stealth” mode.

In fact, about 400 Illinois students will take one or more Parkland College classes this spring. It is not unusual to see that number swell to around 2,000 Illinois students during the summer term.

The online course format allows students to complete their Parkland courses around Illinois classes, work schedules, and social activities; this is the most popular mode for taking our classes. Students who prefer the traditional course format take classes at our campus in the afternoon, late afternoon, and evening so they will fit in with their busy schedules.

Some Parkland courses traditionally have a significant number of Illinois students enrolled. Examples include online Physics 121 and 122 (the equivalent of Illinois’s PHYS 101 and 102) and basic general education courses like Psychology 101 (equivalent to PSYC 100) and History 105 (equivalent to HIST 172)—a nice choice to meet the Illinois Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative and Humanities and the Arts: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives requirements.

Of course, in order to enroll in any courses, you’ll need to complete some basic tasks. You can begin the process of applying to Parkland as a Course Enrollee (a person not working toward a degree or certificate at Parkland) online by going to http://www.parkland.edu/getStarted. As a current Illinois student, you would be considered a “concurrent enrollment” student at Parkland.

You can find procedures and forms for domestic students at the University of Illinois website, at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_domestic.pdf. Procedures and forms for international students are available at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_international.pdf. Please note the instructions very carefully. You must meet Parkland’s prerequisites for the courses and must verify this by bringing with you your Academic History from Illinois Student Self-Service.

If you are wondering how Parkland courses transfer to Illinois, check out the transfer course matrix at http://online.parkland.edu/transferpatterns/index.cfm.

So, if you are looking to squeeze in one more course or maybe looking for a different time or a format that you are unable to get  at Illinois, taking a class at Parkland College might just be for you. We would love to have you!

Parkland College is open until Dec. 23 to take your registrations.

Please note that all Parkland College transfer classes are freshman and sophomore level. For additional enrollment information, contact Parkland’s Office of Admissions.

John Sheahan
Director, Counseling and Advising Center

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

Health Professions: A Career for You?

Have you ever considered a future in health professions? For that matter, do you even know what we mean by health professions here at Parkland? Sometimes we throw terms around and expect everyone to know what we are talking about—that is especially true in health professions! We offer so many opportunities here at Parkland to work in the health care field. Some programs take only one semester while others offer full two-year degrees.

For example, our Nurse Assistant program and our Emergency Medical Technician Basic program are each only one semester long! Both of these professions provide students a great opportunity to work in a health care field and decide if they want to proceed further or do something different—all while being paid!

Maybe your passion is for animals instead of people? I get phone calls on a regular basis from veterinary clinics asking about our Veterinary Technology students. Our program is nationally known for excellence, and many places want to hire our graduates. When you complete our two-year Vet Tech program, you will have earned an associate degree and be ready to take the national board exam.

Other Health Professions options here at Parkland include one-year certificate programs. So what can you complete in one year? You could become a Medical Office Assistant, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Massage Therapist, or a Paramedic.

What about other two-year degrees? We offer degrees in Dental Hygiene, Registered Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assisting, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Surgical Technology. Students may also receive two-year associate degrees in Massage Therapy and in Emergency Medical Services (Paramedic).

The healthcare industry continues to experience employment growth, and this growth is anticipated to continue for many more years. It is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. I’d love to tell you more about each of our programs…better yet, come our Open House this Friday, November 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at our main campus and also at our H wing on Mattis Ave. You can learn more about each program and speak to the faculty and students for firsthand experience!

What Makes “SADHA” So Special?

[SADHA President Mary Liesse and members of the Parkland Dental Hygiene program would like to share with you a little about what they do at Parkland and for its communities.]

We love SADHA!

SADHA stands for the Student American Dental Hygiene Association. As Parkland College Dental Hygiene students and proud members of SADHA, we try to have active community involvement by volunteering with the Smile Healthy organization and Frances Nelson Dental Center and participating in community activities. What we do to help others is pretty rewarding.

SADHA raises money every year to host a free clinic day. This year, we raced in the Car X Crazy K, which consisted of a 5K obstacle course; we raised $6,300 and donated more than half of it to our charity of choice, the Smile Healthy/Frances Nelson Dental Center. Our next free clinic day will be held April 11, 2015, and treatment we offer to our Parkland patients includes, fillings, extractions, and some tooth replacement with mouth flippers. Many dentists, Carle Oral Surgery employees, nurses, Regal Dental Laboratory technicians, students, and dental hygienists also volunteer their time and skills to help during this event.

SADHA also sponsors a local family in need for Christmas. We help make their Christmas wishes come true by filling their Christmas list!

Our community involvement is just one real-world component in Parkland’s two-year Dental Hygiene program. The program also features a clinic on campus, where Dental Hygiene students fully assess and clean a patient’s mouth.  Cleanings are $10 and include an oral cancer screening, blood pressure screening, medical history review, full intra-oral and extra-oral assessment, caries detection, nutritional counseling, X-rays, deep and regular cleanings, and an exam by our dentist. We also sell professional strength Crest White Strips for $35 and electric toothbrushes ranging in price from $20 to $85. 

We are looking for patients who haven’t had their teeth cleaned in five years or more. Appointments are about three hours long, and some patients may require more than one appointment.  Our clinic phone number is 217/351-2221 to make an appointment for a cleaning.

International Students on Parkland’s Football Teams

International students play football for Parkland College! Wha???? Parkland College has a football team?

Yes, Parkland does have a football team—two, actually. We have a women’s team and a men’s team.

Oh, sorry for the confusion about the reference to ‘football’. What the rest of the world calls ‘football’ we, in the US, call soccer.

Parkland College Soccer actionParkland College has had a football/soccer program for many years, and our international students have played, and continue to play, key roles in establishing our program as one of the best community college programs in the US. As you may know, football is played, from an early age, in all parts of the world. The US is a relative new-comer to the sport, so the global perspective and experience our international students bring to the game is highly valued.

Currently, the women’s team has four international students on the roster. The team is 12-3 overall on the season. They begin post-season play with the first match of the Region 24 tournament against Lincoln College at noon on Sunday, October 26. More information is available at: the women’s soccer schedule page.

The men’s team also has four international students on the roster and are currently ranked #22 in NJCAA poll. The men’s team is also tearing it up on the soccer field at 12-3. They begin post-season play with a match against Lincoln Land in the Region 24 tournament on Saturday, October 25 at noon. Find out more information at: the men’s soccer schedule page.