The Parkland College Blog

The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and Parkland College will join community, regional and state partners to celebrate February as Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, which recognizes the value and accomplishments of career and technical education programs in the U.S. 

Throughout the month of February, area entities will participate in this national celebration, created by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), chiefly by disseminating information on CTE programs and opportunities in and around Champaign County through the social media campaign, #CTEinIL

#CTEinIL is designed to promote CTE programs and career opportunities in Champaign County and throughout the state of Illinois. Participating organizations, schools, and employers will use the #CTEinIL hashtag throughout the month of February to build awareness about their own initiatives, while also helping to tell the story of CTE opportunities within the state.  

Participating organizations include: 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation
Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
Champaign Unit 4 School District
Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation
Early College & Career Academy
Education for Employment System #330
ICATT Apprenticeship Program
Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
IMEC
Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3
Parkland College
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 149
Rantoul Township High School
Urbana School District #116 

What is CTE? Career and technical education, or CTE, is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management and many more. 

CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom. 

For more details on CTE Month®, as well as partnering companies and organizations celebrating #CTEinIL, visit champaigncountyedc.org/cteinil.  

"Give Kids a Smile" Dental Day, Feb. 16

Come in for free exams, cleanings, fluoride, for children ages 1–17

Parkland College's Dental Hygiene Clinic will host a free "Give Kids a Smile Day" dental clinic for youths ages 1–17 Saturday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room L148.

Treatment provided will consist of dental exams and cleanings, fluoride treatments, and educational activities for children. No appointment is needed.

"Give Kids a Smile Day" is sponsored by the Illini District Dental Society in partnership with the Parkland College's Dental Hygiene program and the SmileHealthy Dental program through Promise Healthcare.

Individuals interested in this special event may contact Peg Boyce at 217/351-2386 or pboyce@parkland.edu for more information. 

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
Thursday, March 14
Monday, April 8
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Ryan Howard

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Wednesday, March 27
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Sioban Lombardi

Private Illinois Colleges, Universities Fair
Wednesday, April 10
10:30 am–1:30 pm

University of Missouri-St. Louis
Monday, April 15
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Zakery Tierney

University of Illinois Springfield
Monday, April 15
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Miranda Swope

Aurora University
Tuesday, April 16
10 am–1 pm
Representative: Barbara McCarthy

Surgical Technology Program Earns National Merit Award

Program's 100-percent graduate participation, pass rate far exceeds national rate

Parkland College Surgical Technology students have achieved perfect scores on the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting exam, far surpassing national averages and achieving the college's seventh consecutive NBSTSA Merit Award.

Parkland's Surgical Technology program earned the award for achieving a 100-percent graduate participation and pass rate on the national certification exam for surgical technologists during the 2017-2018 academic year. The national pass rate for the exam is around 78 percent, according to the NBSTSA.

Janice Grewatz, program director, said graduates receive the real-world experiences and expert training that lead to high-demand, marketable skills and career success.

"Parkland's program has achieved an overall pass rate of 95 percent since testing has been required," she said. "All of our graduates who sought employment so far this year are employed in full-time surgical technology positions in area hospitals and beyond."

Graduates passing the exam to become a certified surgical technologist (CST) demonstrate an understanding of the basic competencies for safe patient care in the operating room. 

The CST exam is the only fully accredited examination by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies for surgical technologists in the nation. Certification as a surgical technologist exhibits professional pride, the desire to be recognized for mastery of surgical competencies, and most importantly, an ongoing commitment to quality patient care.

 

 

Foundation Receives Nursing Endowment Honoring Late Podiatrist

Dr. Helen Mackey Widick Nursing Scholarship will cover tuition, fees, books

The Parkland College Foundation is honored to be chosen to receive a $100,000 donation from local residents to support the school’s nursing program.

The gift, donated anonymously in mid-November by friends of the late Dr. Helen Mackey Widick, will establish the nursing endowment in her name. Income from the gift will be used to provide a $5,000 scholarship annually to a student who has been accepted into the nursing program, to cover tuition, fees, and books.

Widick, a native of rural Monticello, Ill., practiced podiatric medicine for 45 years at the Widick Foot Clinic in Urbana. Before earning her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Scholl’s College of Podiatry in Chicago in 1957 however, she practiced and taught nursing in Monticello and Alton, Ill., for a decade. 

Nursing was always Widick’s “first love,” which is why her friends want to create the nursing scholarship in her memory, according to Foundation Director Tracy Wahlfeldt.

Widick, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 93, was known for her philanthropy to numerous organizations in the area, some of which are recipients of her trust. The longtime Urbana resident was a member of the Altrusa Club of Champaign Urbana, serving as president from 1967 to 1969 and as governor of Altrusa International District Six from 1981 to 1983. She is a former member of the Auxiliary Coast Guard. Dr. Widick was past worthy matron of the Myrtle Chapter 131 of Eastern Star, past royal matron of #17 Amaranth, past worthy high priestess of White Shrine of Jerusalem-Mizpah #11 and past worthy grand commander of True Kindred #15.     
Her numerous civic memberships include the Piatt County Museum, Champaign County Humane Society, American Podiatry Association and American Podiatry Women’s Association. A former Kentucky Colonel, Widick also taught Sunday school for 25 years at Grace United Methodist Church in Urbana.

She practiced podiatry at two clinics she built in downtown Urbana before retiring in 2002 at the age of 80. The first was a smaller clinic at 1208 E. Main St., (now the Little Red Dog House pet grooming business); the larger clinic, next door at 1210 E. Main St., was completed in 1987. Realizing she had more land than needed to build the second clinic, she donated part of the land to Habitat for Humanity to build homes.

“We at the Parkland College Foundation are grateful that Helen's passion for helping people will continue through the Dr. Helen M. Widick Nursing scholarship," Wahlfeldt said.

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