The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Foundation Fall 2021 Scholarships Now Open

Fall 2021 scholarship application due March 15

The Parkland College Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for Fall 2021 through the Parkland Scholarship Manager.

The Foundation will host two virtual scholarship workshops: March 2 at 6 p.m. and March 9 at noon, via Zoom and streamed to Facebook, for current and prospective students interested in completing an application.

Current students are encouraged to apply for Fall 2021 scholarships, even if they are unsure if they'll be enrolling for fall. Prospective students must apply to Parkland College at parkland.edu/apply before they can apply for Parkland scholarships. 

Current students can visit the Scholarship Manager and use their ParklandOne credentials to login. Once logged in, they will be asked to complete the main Scholarship Application, which will match them with scholarships they are eligible for through the Parkland College Foundation. Students must upload either two letters of recommendation or enter the email address for two recommenders and write an essay. Some scholarships may require additional information or essay work; students will see these additional opportunities once they have submitted the main Scholarship Application.

Once the Scholarship Application is submitted, the Parkland College Foundation committee will appoint the scholarships and notify the winners. Online notification and distribution of awards will be handled through the Scholarship Manager system.

Applications for Fall 2021 scholarships are due Monday, March 15, at 5 p.m.
 

For need-based scholarships, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. FASFAs must be submitted by March 15, 2021.

For questions about scholarships, please contact the Financial Aid and Veteran Services office at 217/351-2222 or finaid@parkland.edu; or the Foundation office at 217/355-3165 or foundation@parkland.edu.

Parkland Pathway to Illinois Virtual Open House, Feb. 23

Prospective students and parents invited to free online event

High school students can learn more about a Parkland College program guaranteeing them admission in selected colleges at the University of Illinois while saving money on tuition.
 
The Parkland Pathway to Illinois Virtual Open House will be held Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. on Zoom. Prospective students and their parents are welcome to attend.
 
Representatives from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Parkland College will answer questions about the Parkland Pathway to Illinois program, including eligibility, financial aid, admissions, and other topics. 

For qualifying Illinois high school graduates who begin college at Parkland and are interested in transferring to the University of Illinois, the program is an opportunity to gain guaranteed admission to certain University of Illinois programs. While preparing to transfer, participating students will be able to integrate their time as full-time Parkland students with resources and classes at Illinois. Pathway students typically complete the program in two years, but AP credit and college credit earned in high school may affect program length.

To RSVP for this event, please go to go.illinois.edu/pathway.

For more information about the program, please visit the Pathway to Illinois page, contact Student Services Advisor Mary Kay Smith at 217/351-2482, or email admissions@parkland.edu.

Giertz Gallery Hosts Art and Design Faculty Virtual Lecture Series

Parkland College Art and Design Faculty Lecture Series

The Art and Design Faculty Lecture Series is underway through the month of February at Parkland College Giertz Gallery. These online gallery talks, free and open to students and community members, include insightful dialogue by Art and Design Faculty members Joan Stolz, Paula McCarty, Denise Seif, and Liza Wynette.

Links to register for these Zoom events are included below. Registration may also be found on the Parkland College Giertz Gallery website. Please register in advance.

Joan Stolz - "Skin in the Game"
Joan Stolz shared her recent body of work on January 21, in which she discussed her oil paintings on wooden panels. These small scale works of art, each 6x6 inches, represent areas of faces of politicians or political influencers. Stolz recently completed a sabbatical and teaches painting, drawing, and figure drawing at Parkland College. Find her lecture here.

Paula McCarty - "Women Who Painted" project
Tuesday, February 2, from 6 to 7 p.m.
Paula McCarty discusses her artwork and her "Women Who Painted" project. Paula McCarty has taught Painting I and II at Parkland College. She teaches upcoming classes through Parkland Community Education; visit here to sign up. For more information about her work and her "Women Who Painted" project, visit her website.
 
To register for “Paula McCarty – Women Who Painted” artist talk, visit here.

Denise Seif - History of Enameling: Past to Present
Wednesday, February 10, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Denise Seif will discuss enameling from past to present. The simple combination of metal, glass, and fire can produce some of the most seductive, delicate, and bold statements of personal adornment and decorative objects. After providing a brief historical overview, she will explore what some contemporary artists are doing with this fascinating medium. Denise Seif teaches Metalwork and Jewelry I and II, Art History I and II, and the History of Non-Western Art. 
 
To register for “History of Enameling: Past to Present” art history lecture by Denise Seif, visit here.

Liza Wynette - History of Music Poster Design
Tuesday, February 16, from 6 to 7 p.m.
In her lecture, Wynette will examine how culture and technology influenced the look of music posters from Art Nouveau to Contemporary times. Liza Wynette teaches the History of Graphic Design at Parkland College. For more information about her work, visit her website.
 
To register for “History of Music Poster Design” design history lecture by Liza Wynette, visit here

Giertz Gallery is currently highlighting artwork by the Art and Design Faculty on their social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. Follow to see their phenomenal work and sign up here to receive email blasts about upcoming events. 
 
Giertz Gallery looks forward to a fresh semester of new opportunities to work with students, faculty, and the community to create a 2021 that inspires hope, education, and excitement through the arts. For more information about the Gallery, visit their website.

 

[Cover image - Night Shift, oil on canvas, Paula McCarty]

Parkland College, in collaboration with the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, the University of Illinois Research Park, regional manufacturers, and community partners, has submitted a bid to become the site of a $7.5 million manufacturing training academy through a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Governor JB Pritzker announced the program in Champaign County in late October during a tour of local of manufacturers.

Focused on meeting the emerging training and workforce demands of Illinois manufacturers, the academy will leverage the assets of the Champaign-Urbana community to grow the manufacturing talent pipeline, provide hands-on training in advanced skills, and assist manufacturers from across the region in scaling emerging technologies. Training opportunities will include advanced skills in machining, robotics and programmable logic controllers (PLC), and advanced manufacturing in addition to the core elements of manufacturing already available, such as welding.

“Community colleges are vehicles and engines of economic growth and vitality for our communities and our state,” said Parkland president Dr. Thomas Ramage. “Parkland is well-positioned to be the site of this strategic investment due to the track record of success in scaling regional training programs like the Parkland Institute of Aviation, Ford ASSET program, and the Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture. Proximity to and collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ensures that the AMTA will continually have access to the innovations and technology that will shape the future of manufacturing.”

Laura Frerichs, Executive Director of the University of Illinois Research Park says she agrees that locating the Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy in Champaign-Urbana would provide a strategic advantage to scaling new companies stemming from the latest research and development taking place at the University.

“One of the challenges of scaling a research and development startup company is the transition from prototype to scalable product,” said Frerichs. “While the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has technologists to invent disruptive and innovative products, its spinout companies need makers to build them. This academy will provide startups with a workforce that can replicate products with quality standards and customer satisfaction in mind, using advanced techniques such as increased automation. The Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy project will fill a critical gap in our community and allow our companies to scale and grow right here in Illinois.”

Building the Workforce Pipeline Through Awareness

Another central focus of the AMTA will be cultivating a pipeline of students to meet the expanding high-tech workforce demands in Central Illinois. As part of the AMTA, an advanced manufacturing “maker space” will be developed as a vital outreach tool to engage K-12 students and promote advanced manufacturing career pathways.

Parkland’s long-standing partnership with Education for Employment (EFE) System #330 and regional school districts will enable collaborative recruitment efforts.

The college will also build on the strong network of community partnerships and recruitment activities developed through the college’s Support for Workforce Training (SWFT) program funded by the Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) grant to reach underrepresented populations.

Whether or not the facility project is funded, Ramage says the college is committed to addressing the workforce pipeline.

“We are committed to continuing to serve manufacturers and help young people understand the rewarding, high-tech careers in manufacturing that exist locally and regionally,” said Ramage. “We don’t want individuals to miss out on the opportunities to pursue their goals and support their families because there is a lack of awareness of what it means to work in manufacturing.”

Meeting the Needs of Industry

The college will utilize a flexible training model to meet the needs of working students and employers, allowing them to access advanced training without the need to relocate. Ramage says that collaboration with the other community colleges in the region will be key and that the model opens opportunities for highly customized training and upskilling for the existing workforce as well as new students.

In order to design a comprehensive academy model that meets the needs of manufacturers, Parkland turned to local employers like Litania Sports Group to understand their needs for training as well as an expanded workforce pipeline.

“The prospect of having a Manufacturing Training Academy in our community is an investment in our regional workforce and a stabilizer for manufacturers in the area,” said Mary McGrew, VP of Human Resources at Litania Sports Group. “We struggle to find qualified workers to hold full-time jobs. We can send existing employees to the AMTA for skills enhancement to meet our changing technology. We can also work with the program to develop talent for students who want to start their career sooner, and less costly, than a four-year degree will allow. East central Illinois is home to some impressive manufacturing companies and the AMTA is a resource that can keep these companies competitive on a national level well into the future.”

The lessons learned from these focused conversations with employers provided some forecasting on future shifts in the industry and how workforce training will need to rise to meet that challenge.

“Manufacturing is a primary economic driver that requires responsive educational support,” said Dr. Justin Arnold, Director of Workforce Development for the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission. “Parkland’s AMTA proposed project will ensure the workforce is ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Manufacturing has radically transformed over the past generation. We need Parkland’s AMTA to help employers train our workforce in automation, coding, robotics, and other advanced skills.”

The placement of the AMTA at Parkland College will also have a broader impact on the regional economy. “The proposed Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy (AMTA) at Parkland College will expand opportunities for short- and long-term skills training, boost retention of manufacturers in our region, and attract more investment to Illinois,” said Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation.

“Focused on meeting the emerging training and workforce demands of our area manufacturers, the academy will leverage the strong assets of the Champaign County region to grow the manufacturing talent pipeline, provide hands-on training in advanced skills, and assist manufacturers from across the region in scaling emerging technologies. We look forward to working with Parkland College and workforce development partners across the state of Illinois to encourage more people to explore the possibilities of modern manufacturing, gain the skills necessary for careers in the 21st century, and retrain workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

State-of-the-Art Training Facility

If awarded, the Parkland Manufacturing Training Academy would be built as an expansion of the Parkhill Applied Technology Center, located on the northwest corner of the college’s campus. The Parkhill Applied Technology Center currently houses the college’s manufacturing and automotive programs, including an existing American Welding Society (AWS) Accredited Test Facility welding lab.

The 10,000 square foot AMTA, designed in collaboration with Urbana-based firm IGW Architecture, will include:

  • a robotics/programmable logic controllers (PLCs) lab outfitted with the latest technology and equipment

  • new tool and die training program and dedicated lab

  • two demonstration labs for both academic and community/youth programming, including the manufacturing “maker space”

  • newly equipped CNC machining lab to support advanced skills training

  • newly equipped CAD/CAM classroom

The college should learn later this spring whether it is awarded the grant and whether the facility project will move forward.

 

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