The Parkland College Blog

Anxiety Awareness Day, March 25

Parkland to offer free screenings, information and assistance for community

The public is invited to Parkland College March 25 for Anxiety Awareness Day, noon to 1:30 p.m. in Room D244. Information and assistance will be available for better understanding and treating anxiety, the most common mental health issue in America today.

This event has undergone some changes and is now focused on being an interactive, drop-in resource fair for students and community members. The resource fair will include: information about the symptoms and treatment of anxiety; directions for obtaining effective help; multiple community organizations specialized in offering mental health resources; Parkland College clubs and departments focused on offering assistance to students; the ability for participants to take online screenings; and various giveaways and free food.

Free confidential screenings will also be available in Parkland's Counseling Services in Room U267 immediately following the program. Such screenings are available year-round at Parkland upon request.

Parkland College, in conjunction with the Champaign-Urbana Mental Health Public Education Committee, is presenting this free session. For additional information, please contact Katie Schacht in Counseling Services at 217/373-3924 (kschacht@parkland.edu).

Information about anxiety disorders is available from the National Institute of Mental HealthFreedom from Fear, a national nonprofit mental illness advocacy organization, has excellent information. Additionally, information about mental health issues and local resources can be found on Parkland College's Counseling Services website. This website also provides information about how students may obtain personal counseling services at Parkland. 

New ECCA Education Pathway to Help in Area Teacher Shortage

New education dual credit pathway for area high schoolers

Parkland College and Education for Employment #330 have partnered on a way to help fill the gap in the district's Pre K–12 teacher shortage.

The new Early College and Career Academy Education Pathway, which starts in the fall, will provide early training for area high school seniors who know teaching and working with young people is their calling, according to EFE #330 Director Nick Elder.

"It will also provide an opportunity for students who are undecided about their career path to gain some experience and decide if education is a fit for them," he said. "This program is being jointly developed by Parkland and our local school districts, a great example of secondary and post-secondary collaboration to ultimately provide a seamless transition into a high-need career area for our students."

The new pathway will feature four courses high school students can take:

  • Introduction to Education (EDU 101)

  • Educational Psychology (PSY 220)

  • Introduction to Special Education (EDU 104)

  • Introduction to Child Psychology (PSY 207)

The program includes a practical experience assisting in local school district classrooms, jointly developed by Parkland College and the student's high school. Interested students should check with their counselor for school-specific program prerequisites.

Launched in November 2014, the Early College and Career Academy is a collaboration of the EFE #330 K-12 career and technical education cooperative and Parkland College. At the academy, high school juniors and seniors earn dual credit for courses in certain skill-based programs: Automotive, Collision Repair, Computer Networking, Computer Programming, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medical Services (Health Professions or Fire Service focus), Certified Nursing Assistant, Industrial Technology, and now, Education Pathway. Many of the ECCA classes take place in the Parkhill Applied Technology Center on the far northwest side of campus. The academy benefits not only area students, but also local businesses, due to the increased skill level of the incoming workforce.

For more information on the new ECCA pathway, please email Elder at nelder@efe.k12.il.us or by phone at 217/355-1382. The ECCA office at Parkland College is Room A113.

Ready for a bachelor's or master's degree? Use your Parkland credits! The following colleges will have representatives on hand this spring in the Student Union (unless otherwise noted) to discuss four-year degrees and transfer options.

Eastern Illinois University
*College Center, X wing lounge

Tuesday, February 11

Monday, March 9

Thursday, April 2

10 am–1 pm

Representative: Ryan Howard

 

 

 

 

 

Parkland College, in collaboration with the Illinois Community College Board and State Rep. Carol Ammons, has launched a new program that will provide free, short-term training to underserved populations in the college's district.
 
Backed by a $1.5 million Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative grant, Parkland's new Support for Workforce Training (SWFT) Program aims to help more than 150 district residents move into high-demand careers with family-sustaining wages within a year or less. The WEI grant aims to address historic underrepresentation of African Americans in high-demand, high-wage careers, thus requiring African Americans to comprise 60 percent of the population served by the SWFT program. 

Parkland President Tom Ramage described the program's potential impact.

"This is an unprecedented opportunity for Parkland College to remove barriers for those wishing to upgrade their skills with short-term programs and move into high-demand careers," he said. "These students will have the opportunity to change, not only the trajectory of their lives, but that of their families. We commend our legislators for supporting this innovative approach to expanding the skilled workforce, growing businesses, and ensuring the continued growth of the local economy."  

The initiative was spearheaded by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus with strong support from State Rep. Carol Ammons. 

"I am proud to support a program that creates ample opportunities in a realistic way," Ammons said. "Participants may receive a number of scholarships, waivers, and stipends, for the necessary classes and training to further their careers. These resources also include childcare, transportation, and other non-monetary tools that will ensure that 'life' doesn't get in the way of making life better.

"I would also like to thank my colleagues in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus for their work to find workforce training programming that will help to increase wages for people in our community. This program will help people become certified for careers where there are skill gaps and workforce shortages in our region. I am honored to have fought for this money on behalf of those looking for work, and I look forward to working with Parkland College to maximize this grant money and its impact on our community."

Along with providing tuition and fee waivers for training and stipends to help tackle higher education-access barriers, the initiative will address local workforce gaps and employment barriers in an effort to prepare skilled workers to move into employment upon program completion. Participants who are eligible for the program also will receive wraparound support services, such as academic counseling and mentoring.

Students may select from 22 Parkland College degree or certificate programs in four technical career categories: construction and manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and distribution, and business and IT services. Career options vary widely and include industrial maintenance and welding; office assistant, Microsoft Web, and Google IT professionals; phlebotomy and pharmacy technicians; practical nursing and CNA; and truck driver CDL and highway construction, among others. Most programs can be completed in a year or less.

Those eligible for the incentives may include incumbent workers, unemployed persons, members of underrepresented minority groups, those receiving SNAP benefits and other need-based aid, recently incarcerated persons and ex-offenders, those receiving housing assistance, and others demonstrating financial need. 

Parkland College was one of 15 community colleges selected to take part in the $18.5 million WEI, which aims to train 1,500 adults statewide for jobs in areas with a high demand for workers. The grant period begins October 2019 and extends through September 2020. State officials notified Parkland College of its award in mid-September.

For more information, please visit parkland.edu/swft or contact the SWFT Program office at 217/353-2149.

Parkland College has received high marks for financial soundness from external auditors and is enhancing career and technical programs at the college through a recent increase in federal grant funds. 

The Parkland College Board of Trustees officially accepted the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) from Martin Hood, LLC, at its meeting Wednesday. The report presented the college with an unqualified "clean" opinion of its FY 2019 financial statements, the best type to receive from independent review. The audit highlights the college's exemplary fiscal management and includes reports on Parkland's schedule of expenditures of federal awards and its internal control over financial reporting and compliance.

Also at their meeting, trustees received an update on how a $643,000 Carl D. Perkins grant Parkland received for AY 2020 is being used to strengthen career and technical programs and support students in underrepresented groups. Through the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), the US Dept. of Education is providing more than $1.2 billion in federal aid this year to bolster CTE programs across the country. 

Pamela Lau, Executive Vice President, reported that the Perkins funds are being used in several major ways. First, they will help develop an apprenticeship office at Parkland College; this effort will accelerate the development of apprenticeships with the College, which has obtained status as a US Department of Labor intermediary, one that proactively addresses workforce needs for both employees and employers. The funds will also allow the college to provide career-exploration software, soft-skills training, summer camps, and other work-based learning tools for students. Under the leadership of Bobbi Scholze, Parkland's dean of career and technical education, the College will continue expanding pathways to obtain CTE credentials in collaboration with Parkland's Adult Education and Community Education units. Finally, Parkland will make capital equipment purchases and lab and software upgrades that help boost CTE program technology.

In other business, the board approved the following:

  • purchase of body-worn cameras and associated hardware and software from WatchGuard, Inc., Allen, Texas, $22,355;

  • purchase of a 15-passenger commercial bus from Midwest Transit Equipment of Kankakee, $50,628;

  • retaining Henneman Engineering, Inc. of Champaign for the development and design of the campus electronic door lock upgrade, $509,850;

  • purchase of the pre-exposure rabies vaccine administration from McKinley Health Center in Urbana for veterinary tech students, $21,420;

  • receipt of funds from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) Workforce Equity Initiative. College officials publicly announce the grant award on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 10 a.m. in the Student Union atrium.

  • personnel appointments:

    • Gerald Lighty, Faculty, Ag/Engineering Science Technologies

    • Carrie Harris, Program Manager, Community Education

    • Josh Houston, Maintenance Tech/Electrician, Physical Plant

    • Jenna Hooker, Police Officer, Public Safety

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