The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Medical Assist. Program Awarded Full Initial Accreditation

Parkland College Health Professions program earns accreditation

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The Parkland College Health Professions Medical Assisting Program has been awarded full initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Accreditation follows a detailed two-year, 10-step process outlined by the CAAHEP to ensure that health professions education programs meet all standards and guidelines for the industry. 

During the October 2021 site accreditation visit, Parkland's Medical Assisting program was required to show that 270 competencies from three learning domains were presented and assessed for every student. This included a one- to two-day close review of program documentation, facilities, and curriculum, as well as interviews with program-affiliated individuals.

"We are very proud of all the faculty and staff that organized, prepared for, and excelled in this key process for our program, our department, and our college," said Carolyn Ragsdale, Dean of Health Professions.

"Accreditation represents the highest level of excellence for a program or institution. It enhances the educational quality of a program by ensuring consistency with the standards of the profession, promotes self-evaluation and improvement, and provides the public with institutional accountability for educational programs."

Initial accreditation is awarded for a five-year period, with the next review slated for 2027. Students that complete medical assisting curriculum from nationally-accredited programs and pass certification exams can be employed in every state in the US.

For more information about Parkland College Health Professions programs, please visit

Parkland Surgical Technology Program Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Parkland College Surgical Technology Program Turns 50

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The Parkland College Surgical Technology Program will be celebrating 50 years of instruction with an Anniversary Open House on Wednesday, April 27 from 5–7 p.m. in the U Wing.
“The Surgical Technology Open House will be a chance to celebrate the success of a program that’s 50 years strong,” said program director Janice Grewatz. “We are so excited to be able to welcome the public back to highlight the wonderful and talented students, alumni, and faculty that have shaped the past triumphs and future opportunities of the program.”
The Open House will feature surgeon guest speaker Dr. James Harms, remarks from Parkland president Dr. Ramage, light refreshments, a raffle, and a presentation highlighting program alumni.

James J. Harms, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spinal surgery at Carle Foundation Hospital. After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he received postgraduate training at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, where he also completed his residency in orthopedic surgery. He has worked with the Carle Clinic Association for the last 40 years.
Alumni are asked to submit their photos and stories here.

While the Open House is open to the public, please RSVP at by April 20.
For more information about the Surgical Technology program, please visit

Parkland College Student-Led LIFE Clinic to Help Area Residents

LIFE Clinic Services to Help with Pain, Mobility, Quality of Life

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Residents who live with daily pain or who have difficulty completing simple to more complex day-to-day activities can get in-person or virtual help from a free clinic at Parkland College.

The Learning Information for Everyday (LIFE) Clinic, offered by the Parkland College Occupational Therapy Assistant program, provides individual consultation, modifications and assistive devices, and recommendations for simple strategies to conserve energy, perform daily tasks, and navigate activities better.

The student-led clinics consist of classes, activities, and engagement for greater C-U area clients to promote independence, socialization, and higher quality of life through individual and/or group activities, and in-person or virtual sessions with OTA students, supervised by Parkland OTA faculty.

Parkland will offer LIFE Clinic services Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, at Parkland College's Health Professions department at 1309 N. Mattis during the spring 2022 semester.

Residents can visit for more information. To schedule an appointment through the clinic, please use the link above or contact Kendra Schroder at 217/353-2760 or

Parkland College Health Professions/General Open House, Oct 22

Explore Health Professions and general academic programs during the Fall Open House, Oct. 22

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Explore Parkland College academic programs, campus life, support services and more during the school's Health Professions/General Open House.

This event will take place Friday, Oct. 22 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Student Union atrium and in the L and H buildings for its Health Professions programs. Please register here.

Designed for high school students, parents of college-bound students, and community members, the open house allows visitors to tour the campus; have their questions answered from admissions, financial aid, and counseling representatives; and explore the college.

The Health Professions portion of the open house will take place in the L wing of the main campus and at the H building located in Parkland on Mattis, 1309 N. Mattis Ave. in Champaign. The Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Practical Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, and Veterinary Technology programs will be featured in the L wing, while the Emergency Medical Services, Fire Service, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Nursing Assistant, Occupational Therapy programs will be featured at the H building.

Please register for the open house here. For more information, contact Admissions and Records at 217/351-2482 or

Parkland College Adds New Mental Health Certificate Program

Parkland College to add Mental Health Certificate this fall 2021

Parkland College will be adding a new Mental Health Certificate program this fall.

The new five-credit-hour certificate will train entry-level mental health and social service workers to enter full or part time mental health support professional roles. These skills include therapeutic communication and de-escalation techniques; identification of signs and symptoms of mental illness, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities; and certification in mental health first aid, among others.

The two-course program, offered by Parkland's Social Science and Human Services department, can be completed in a single semester and will benefit people working or wanting to work in social services organizations.

"After hearing from our partners in the community that workers need these skills to best serve their clients, we have developed this new certificate in order to meet this important need," said Joseph Walwik, dean of arts and sciences.

"Students enrolling in these courses will earn a certificate in Mental Health First Aid and also gain basic knowledge about mental health, substance abuse, developmental and other issues. We are confident that with this training students will leave Parkland prepared to enter the social services workforce.”

The Mental Health Certificate will be available to take starting this Fall 2021. To register, visit For more information about the program, please visit