The Parkland College Blog

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

Free CarFit Checks for Older Drivers Oct. 17

Event is free to area drivers

Parkland College encourages older area residents to come out for a free CarFit check and find out how well they work together with their vehicles.

The free check will take place Oct. 17. from 1 to 4 p.m. at Stone Creek Church, 2502 S. Race St., Urbana. Parkland College's Occupational Therapy Assistant program students are hosting the event in conjunction with AAA and the Clark Lindsey Village retirement community. 

Designed to keep the district's seniors driving safely for as long as possible, a CarFit check takes about 20 minutes and is available to all licensed, mature drivers who own a registered vehicle. A trained professional will ask simple questions and complete a 12-point CarFit checklist.This is not a driving test or mechanical inspection.

Recent surveys showed that 88 percent of CarFit participants reported changing at least one driving behavior or vehicle adaptation as a result of their assessment.

To schedule a free appointment, please call Sara Hawkins at 217/239-5201.

Parkland Grad Wins Massage Envy Regional Award

Sasha Smith Therapist of Year for St. Louis Region

A Parkland College Massage Therapy program graduate has won the Massage Therapist of the Year Award for Massage Envy's 16-location St. Louis Region.

Sasha Smith, Class of 2016, is an employee at the Massage Envy at 1213 Savoy Plaza Lane, Suite D, in Savoy. Massage Envy's Therapist of the Year Award program winners are service providers who stand out among their peers and whose performance metric and member, guest, and peer feedback illustrate an exceptional commitment to fulfilling the Massage Envy brand promise of helping people feel their best.  

With the regional win, Smith, who has been named Therapist of the Year at the Savoy location for the past two years, qualified and attended the Massage Envy corporate franchise meeting in Orlando this spring, where she received additional training in massage modalities. She was one of only 53 licensed massage therapists (out of 25,000 nationwide) to receive the honor.

Parkland College's Massage Therapy program prepares students to take the National Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam, administered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Full- or part-time study is available. Students learn in labs, classrooms, and a variety of off-campus settings. After passing MBLEX, students are eligible to apply for a state license as a massage therapist. Parkland's graduates are also automatically eligible to join the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) as professional members.

Several area high school seniors earned recognition or declared their fall college choice during the first-ever Career and Technical Education Signing Day at Parkland College last week.

At the April 25th event in the Student Union, students earning dual credit through the Early College and Career Academy announced their intention to pursue a career training program at Parkland this fall, with the goal of entering certain career and technical education fields. Families were on hand to watch their students sign on to their chosen program at the event, organized to resemble signing days for athletic programs.

A joint effort of Education for Employment System #330 and Parkland College, the ECCA allows high school juniors and seniors to earn dual credit in eight different Parkland College program areas. Over 400 students have participated in the ECCA since its inception in the 2015-2016 school year. First- and second-year ECCA students from the following high schools received Signing Day recognition:

Earning Parkland’s Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair Certificate this spring:
Champaign Centennial: Parth Abani, Fernando Pascual, and Nelson Luyando
Champaign Central: Ivan Talbot and Andrew Musquez
Heritage: Dylan Dohme
Mahomet-Seymour: Wyatt Heimann
Tuscola: Peyton Hastings and Noah Woods
Tolono Unity: Ethan Warren and Nathan Gonzalez

Earning Parkland's Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate this spring:
Champaign Centennial: Addison Archer, Julia Davis, Ava Kneller, Nicole Martinez, and Nyesha Sullivan
Champaign Central: Jennifer Mata-Villa
Fisher: Makenzie Dow
Mahomet-Seymour: Trinity Reeves
Paxton Buckley Loda: Faith Johnson
Rantoul Township: Anna Smith, Janet Vazquez, and Yuleydi Vazquez-Valle
St. Joseph-Ogden: Heidi Novak and Abigail Dunham
Tolono Unity: Mikayla Brennan and Rianna Scroggins
Urbana: Asia Wallace
Villa Grove: Brianna Dale
Note: Completing the certificate program qualifies these students to take the Illinois Department of Public Health CNA licensing exam.

Continuing their Parkland College CTE programs in fall 2019:
Champaign Centennial: Zachary Olaivar and Javandre'a Johnson, Industrial Technology
Tolono Unity: Peyton Reed and Chayton Townsend, Automotive Technology
Urbana: Caitlyn Galla and Jeremy Machorro, Automotive Technology
Rantoul Township: Kendrick Newlin, Computer Science
Mahomet-Seymour: Hannah Kroll, Criminal Psychology
Monticello: Halle Hayes, Occupational Therapy Assisting
Paxton Buckley Loda: Brayden Geyer, Industrial Technology
Tuscola: Gabriella Gunther, Emergency Medical Services

More information on the Early College and Career Academy is available at

[Images: ECCA Automotive and CNA students at CTE Signing Day.]

Dental Hygiene Director to Receive Innovation Award

Peg Boyce to be honored during 14th annual event, at Parkland College

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A Parkland College faculty member will receive countywide honor for her community service next month.

Peg Boyce, director of the Dental Hygiene program, has won the 2019 Innovation in Engagement Award-Parkland College, the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. announced Tuesday. This award recognizes an individual or group at Parkland College who has strongly supported the college’s community engagement mission.

She will receive her honor during the 14th Annual Innovation Celebration to be held Friday, March 29, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Parkland College's Student Union, 2400 W. Bradley Avenue, Champaign. The  Innovation Celebration is hosted by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the University of Illinois, Parkland College, and community sponsors.

Boyce has served as an associate professor at Parkland since 2007. For years, she has helped Parkland College Dental Hygiene students host numerous free dental clinics in the Champaign County area, in conjunction with the Illini Dental Society and Smile Healthy. These include the "Day of Healthy Smiles" adult clinic, the "Give Kids a Smile Day" clinic for area children, and Latino Screening Days (coordinated with Parkland's Club Latino student group and area organizations). She has also taken her students abroad into countries with developing economies to offer traveling dental-care clinics.

The Innovation Celebration recognizes community individuals, organizations, and corporations that have made significant contributions, taken risks, and provided leadership to ensure the continuing economic success of Champaign County, the ongoing success of the University of Illinois' economic development mission, and the growth of entrepreneurial talent and energy in our community. This event serves as a benchmark of success for the nominees and those selected to receive this prestigious award. Learn more at