The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Board Approves 2021 Tax Levy, Tax Abatement

Board of Trustees General Meeting, November 17

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At its regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland College's Board of Trustees heard updates from administration, approved a tax levy of approximately $30 million, and abated taxes for a bond issuance that is being retired with student fee revenues.

After an update from college president Tom Ramage, trustees heard from Amin Kassem, Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for an update on the information technology and security at Parkland, as well as an update of the Technology Strategic Plan. Executive Director Tracy Wahlfeldt also gave an update on the activities of the Parkland College Foundation.

The board then held a public hearing on the 2021 tax levy and passed a tax levy resolution totaling $30,410,000. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles noted that the levy may yield a slightly lower tax rate.

Additionally, trustees moved to abate the tax levied for the year 2021 on the $5.9 million of general obligation bonds it issued to help fund the College Master Plan. The series 2018C bonds are to be retired with revenues raised from a student facility fee.

In other business, trustees approved:

  the purchase of:

  • YuJa Enterprise Video Platform from YuJa, Inc, $20,000 annually from July 1, 2022—June 30, 2025
  • broadcast media system hardware and software from Midwest Computer Company, $48,071
  • full-body Phantom X-ray model bid from Supertech X-ray, $29,495
  • 36-month electricity and natural gas utility service contract with Constellation Energy
  • annual rate increase to the Child Development Center fees

  the filing of the following grant applications:

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): “Integrated Drivers of Infection Genomics for One Health” (funding via NSF Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention)
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA): Build Back Better Regional Challenge—Phase 1 (Concept Proposal)
  • American Association of Community College Trustees & Education Strategy Group: Noncredit and Credit Alignment Lab (NCAL)

  the acceptance of funds from external sources:

  • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Scaling Apprenticeship Program (supplemental)
  • Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA): General Operating Support (GOS) Grant
  • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Career & Technical Education Perkins Postsecondary Grant
  • Illinois Community College Board: Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Funds (GEERF II)
  • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Adult Education & Literacy Grant

  personnel appointments:

  • Mina Cho, Simulation Coordinator, Health Professions
  • Jason Maldonado, HR Specialist, Human Resources
  • Ellen Elghammer, Admissions Advisor, Admissions
  • Sarah Winker Uy, Admissions Advisor, Admissions
  • Cyndy White, Student Records Advisor, Admissions
  • Leeann Smith, Asst. Teacher, Child Development Center
  • Kevin Tiedemann, Financial Aid Advisor, Financial Aid

Registration Now Open for Spring 2022 Semester

Open Registration for Spring 2022 Classes Starts Today

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Open registration for Parkland College Spring Semester 2022 starts November 1. See a full listing of available courses at

Spring semester classes begin the week of January 10 (for full 16-week and first 8-week sessions) and later. At Parkland, you can learn to fly a drone, network computers, build homes, save lives, and more. Or save big on tuition by transferring your Parkland credits to universities. 

Eligible students may be able to receive additional funding of up to $800 - visit to learn more.

See the Registration Guide for dates and deadlines, drop and withdrawal steps, tuition and fee information, and more. Students may need to meet with an academic advisor before registering by emailing For a listing of registration steps, please visit

Register by January 9 for classes that begin January 10, by January 30 for classes that begin January 31, and by March 6 for classes that begin March 7. 

Parkland Community Update

Parkland Community:

We want to inform you of a shooting incident that occurred last night at the Parkland Point apartment complex located adjacent to campus, which resulted in the death of a 20-year-old young man.

We are deeply saddened that a life has been lost and know that many Parkland students live in the complex and may have witnessed or heard the incident. Parkland College’s crisis team will be offering walk-in counseling services on Monday, November 1 from 10-noon for any students needing to talk and will provide additional supports throughout the week. Students who need more immediate assistance can contact 217-359-4141, 2-1-1, or 815-570-9586.

The escalation of community violence in recent months has had a profound impact on our community. We know that while this violence may occur off-campus, the resulting trauma and feelings of fear enter our building every day. We remain committed not only to creating a safe learning environment but also to supporting the basic needs and mental health of our students through our network of services. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Dean of Students ( or Counseling Services ( if you need support.  

We implore each of you to be aware of your surroundings and be part of the solution by making positive choices that bring you closer to your goals.  As always, you can report suspicious behavior by contacting the Parkland College Police Department at 217-351-2369 or by dialing 911.


Thomas R. Ramage, Ed.D.

President, Parkland College

Parkland College SHIELD CU Testing Site Moves to E Building

SHIELD CU Testing at Parkland moves to E Building

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Beginning Saturday, October 30, Parkland College's SHIELD CU testing site will be located in the E building on Parkland's main campus.

As building access is restricted, the E building must be entered through door E1; use the B5 parking lot for closer access.

Testing hours at the new site are: Monday, 8:30–11:30 a.m.; Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.; Wednesday, 1–4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

You must use the Safer Community app to receive your test results from SHIELD CU testing. For more information about the app, building access, or Parkland's COVID Monitoring System and guidelines, please visit

New State Report Details Parkland's Impact on Local Economy

Parkland accounts for $85.7 million in economic output, gains students $600,000 in additional earnings

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Parkland College plays a key role in boosting the local Champaign-Urbana and greater Illinois economies, according to a new study from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).

The study, Illinois Community Colleges' Economic Impacts and Student Employment Outcomes, evaluates the Illinois community college system on its ability to meet the needs of business and industry and on equity, student outcomes, students' return on investment, and overall economic impact. The study estimates that, in the last fiscal year, Parkland College's total economic output on the statewide economy was $85.7 million.

During this period, Parkland employed 1,024 employees with a total payroll of $37.7 million in wages and benefits. This activity rippled through the state economy, creating 220 additional jobs, boosting payrolls, and promoting other economic activity, according to the study.

"This study quantifies what we already know, which is that Parkland provides life-changing opportunities for students and that community colleges are vehicles for economic prosperity," said Parkland president Thomas Ramage. "Investing in a degree or long-term certificate program is an investment not only in your own future and that of your family; it contributes substantially to the economic vitality of the region and the state of Illinois. Recent events have deepened and reaffirmed our commitment to serving all who wish to learn and train for a new career."

"Parkland College is a key partner in the work we do to advance the central Illinois region, and that is especially true in Champaign County," said Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.

"Their collaboration on workforce development initiatives, supporting entrepreneurs, and engagement in attracting employers to our community is absolutely critical in improving the economic well-being of our region. From the ICATT Apprenticeship program and Early College and Career Academy to CobraVenture and AgTech initiatives, Parkland College always stands ready to meet the needs of our region, and we're truly thankful for the partnership and impact."

Parkland College's economic impact is not limited to the local or statewide economy. The study found that more than 80 percent of Parkland's long-term certificate and associate's degree graduates obtained jobs in their career field within one year of graduation. Employment rates improved over time, with 90 percent of graduates employed after 10 years. Parkland Health Professions degree completers saw the highest employment rate at 88.6 percent.

The study also measured the return on investment for students obtaining credentials at a community college, compared to someone not completing or attending community college. The increased earnings for a degree completer were estimated to total more than $620,000 over the course of a 40-year working life.

COVID Impact. The report also looked at the economic impact of COVID on the industries of Illinois. While many industries are experiencing permanent job closures or position eliminations, others, such as healthcare and social assistance, transportation and warehousing, and waste management and remediation services, are expected to increase their demand for trained and/or certified workers.

"For Parkland, this is an opportunity to help displaced workers retrain, retool, and get back into the workforce," said Pamela Lau, executive vice president. "Getting workers back on track, ready for a new career, and ready to support themselves and their families with opportunities they might not have been able to access otherwise is our goal."

Workforce Organization Assessment. Community workforce leaders, including Dr. Justin Arnold, director of workforce development at Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, agree with the study's estimate of Parkland College's worth to the community, calling the college the regional leader for job training.

"We work with Parkland College to connect our clients—youth, adults, and employers—to a variety of educational resources: noncredit corporate training, apprenticeship curriculum design, industry-recognized credentials, and remedial support, such as GED-prep and adult literacy," Arnold said.

Equity Efforts. All Illinois community colleges are committed to continuing growth in short-term certificate opportunities, particularly in high-need communities. The ICCB study found that employment rates varied by race and ethnicity for those who completed Parkland College programs in fiscal year 2018 (latest full year available). African American completers represented the largest minority group by share of completers, with a career-job employment rate of 93.1 percent.

In 2019, Illinois created the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI)—a grant program designed to increase workforce opportunities for African Americans, a group severely underrepresented among Career and Technical education (CTE) programs. Over the last two years, the WEI program has granted nearly $40 million to address education and unemployment gaps in the African American and other minority communities throughout Illinois. Locally, the Workforce Equity Initiative has been championed by State Representative Carol Ammons.

Parkland College has been participating in the WEI through its Support for Workforce Training (SWFT) program since the WEI's inception. This program provides funding for short-term (one year or less) in careers such as healthcare, transportation and distribution, business and IT services, or construction and manufacturing. Students' tuition and fees are covered through the grant in addition to a weekly stipend. The program also integrates career-specific adult education bridge programs for those who are still developing English language skills or are preparing for college-level coursework.

"SWFT has given Parkland the opportunity to implement a new workforce development from an equity lens and help students overcome longstanding barriers to succeeding in higher education," said Stephanie Stuart, vice president for communications and external affairs and the SWFT grant administrator. "We have served more than 250 students and counting in the program who would have otherwise been unable to access training in high-demand career fields. Its development is having a long-term impact on how our institution serves our diverse, vibrant community."

"When you invest in Parkland College, you are investing in much more than 'just a degree,'" said President Ramage. "You are believing in the worth and value of not only yourself, but the community you call home."