The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College to Honor Veterans with Virtual Ceremony

Veterans Day is Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

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Parkland College honors the men and women who serve in the US military. The college will hold a 2020 Veterans Day virtual ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the celebration will be held virtually this year. Parkland's virtual ceremony includes a PowerPoint tribute to student, staff, and faculty veterans on the Parkland College Facebook page, posted on Veteran's Day.

The 2020 Veterans Day observance is sponsored by the Student Veterans Association at Parkland (SVAP).

Anxiety Awareness Day, March 25

Parkland to offer free screenings, information and assistance for community

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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 (

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

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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 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 or contact the SWFT Program office at 217/353-2149.