The Parkland College Blog

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

High school and home school students and their families can learn more about an early college program that could reduce the time it takes to earn an associate's degree or bachelor's degree after high school. 

An informational session on the Early Transfer Academy (ETA) has been set for Monday, Dec. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Parkland College's Student Union, Room U140. College faculty and administrators will be on hand to discuss the academy, its benefits to students, and the eligibility requirements for participation. 

As participants in the Early Transfer Academy (ETA), high school juniors and seniors will enroll in early-morning classes at Parkland College that meet the State of Illinois' General Education Core Curriculum. The GECC "package" of courses will then transfer as lower-division, general education requirements at public colleges and universities across the state. This could mean a significant savings in college costs as well as a greater chance at college success because of experiences gained on Parkland's campus. 
 
"I was really excited about getting my college credit done as soon as possible," said one current ETA student. "I just really want to get on with my career."

All families are welcome to attend the information session; however, parents of current sophomore- and junior-level students will have particular interest in attending, as these students will be the participants in the ETA.

Register to attend the information session at parkland.edu/ETAinfosession.

For more information on Parkland College's Early Transfer Academy, please visit parkland.edu/ETA. For questions, contact the Parkland College Early College Services office at 217/353-2663.

Peer Tutoring Program Gains Top-Stage Certification

College Reading, Learning Assoc. approves 23-year program's tutor training

Parkland College's Peer Tutoring program has been approved for Stage Three, Level 1 tutor training certification by the nationwide College Reading and Learning Association.

This coveted recognition allows Parkland College to recognize its student-tutors as having met the approved CRLA requirements for Certified Tutor Level 1, to assist with the learning of their fellow students. Because Parkland's program is now in the top stage, the CRLA certification lasts five years and is renewable. According to the certification committee, the strengths of Parkland's program include its focus on developmental math, "which is more needed today than in years past," and its use of Productive Tutoring Techniques videos to train peer tutors. 

Parkland College's Peer Tutoring program, established in the mid-1990s, trains student tutors who have been selected based on their academic performance, previous experience, and interest in helping others. These students tutor their fellow Parkland College students in mathematics (all levels), physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, accounting, business, economics, Spanish, and other course subjects.

The CRLA certifies college tutor training programs across the globe, providing tutoring centers with the structure for certifying tutors at one or more levels.

Volcanic Eruption on Hawaii: December Kaler Science Talk

Geologist Steven Marshak to discuss reasons for Hawaiian volcanism, plate tectonics

This December's James B. Kaler Science Lecture at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium presents a "volatile" topic.

"The 2018 Volcanic Eruption on Hawaii: Causes and Consequences of a Natural Disaster," presented by geologist Dr. Steven Marshak, takes place Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Admission is $2 at the door with the Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium admitted free of charge. 

Beginning in May, 2018, 200-foot-high fountains of lava spurted from a fissure near the east coast of Hawaii. These fountains fed rivers of molten rock that flowed over neighborhoods, roads, and forests, causing the region to be declared a disaster area. Where did the molten rock come from, and why has it piled up to build the world's tallest mountain (as measured from the base to the top)—in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Marshak will discuss reasons for Hawaiian volcanism, in the context of plate tectonics theory, and will provide a firsthand account of what the eruption looks like, and how people are coping with it. 

Marshak has been at the University of Illinois for 35 years. He is currently a professor in the Department of Geology and the director of the School of Earth, Society and the Environment. His research interests involve structural geology, plate tectonics, and field geology. He has been involved in research projects in the Midcontinent, the Appalachians, and southeastern Brazil, and he studies a variety of issues including the development of tectonic structures and unconformities in cratons; the development of tectonic foliations in rocks; the formation of fold-thrust belts; and crustal evolution during the Precambrian.

Following Marshak's talk, the planetarium will present its holiday program, "Season of Light." Tickets for regular programs range from $5 to $6 per person. For a full show schedule, visit  the planetarium's website or call 217/351-2446. 

Faculty, Staff Excellence Winners for 2018

Employees provided superior instruction, service during 2018 academic year

Parkland College employees were honored with campus and regional awards for superior instruction and service during the school's 2018 academic year. Most were nominated through Parkland College's Professional Development Subcommittees for Faculty and Staff.

Kaizad Irani, Horticulture and Agriculture
2018 Outstanding Full-Time Faculty Award, Illinois Community College Trustees AssociationKaizad Irani

  • A Champaign County Master Gardener, Irani has taught at Parkland College since 2002

  • Has led teams that designed healing gardens locally at Carle Hospital and at St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis

  • His team's design was chosen for the World Trade Center Heroes Park that will be built near Ground Zero in New York

  • Described as a creative force and an enthusiastic, generous, and purposeful professor who instills confidence in every student

  • Expert on topics as varied as Transforming Chaos and Conflict, Mind Mapping, and changing negative thought patterns

  • Has served on the college's Curriculum Committee and Sustainable Campus Committee


Tracy Dotson, Composition
2018 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award for Parkland College, Illinois Community College Trustees AssociationTracy Dotson

  • Described as a deeply caring and committed teacher

  • Has established an engaging curriculum and productive classroom community in which students learn from her and from their classmates

  • Valued contributor in departmental meetings, grant-funded assessments, and developmental composition meetings

  • Well-regarded mentor who acclimates new part-time faculty to policies, procedures, expectations, and culture of Parkland College


Chris Warren, Kinesiology
2018 Parkland College Teaching Excellence AwardChris Warren

  • Associate professor and program director of the Kinesiology program, Warren oversaw the development of Parkland College's state-of-the-art training and athletics facility

  • Helped develop the college's Certified Personal Fitness Training program

  • Expanded the Kinesiology curriculum to include four transfer pathways

  • Known as a dedicated and encouraging teacher; students say he creates a fun and engaging classroom environment

  • Assists trainers and clients at Parkland's Fitness Center and monitors many Parkland athletes' training 


Kendra McClure, Communications
2018 Online Teaching Excellence AwardKendra McClure

  • Associate professor of communication, McClure has served at Parkland College since 2010

  • Her online courses stand out because of her attention to detail, clear expectations, and personal interactions with her students

  • Uses feedback from anonymous surveys to make adjustments and continually improve student learning

  • A founder and faculty advisor for Applied Media Promotions (AMP), a student-staffed strategic communication firm on campus


Manuel Rodriguez, Chemistry
Dr. Joseph Cipfl Faculty Workshop and Research Grant Winner

  • Associate professor of chemistry, Rodriguez has served Parkland College since 2010

  • The Illinois Community College Faculty Association (ICCFA) Executive Committee has awarded him one of its four $2,500 competitive faculty grants for 2018

  • His research project is "Introduction to Undergraduate Research for Community College Students"

  • ICCFA, an advisory body to the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), endeavors to promote excellence in teaching and learning in Illinois community colleges

 

Kris Murray, Accessibility Services
2018 Outstanding Staff Gold Award (5+ Years) Kris Murray

  • Responsible for day-to-day operations in the Office of Accessibility Services, which serves 500+ students

  • Recognized as consummate professional who communicates with students in a caring, respectful, and positive manner

  • Maintains the office's systems and extensive inventory of assistive technologies

  • Works closely with faculty and staff to meet educational needs for students with disabilities

  • Adept knowledge of ADA compliance issues, technology for student accommodations, and community/campus resources


Sarah Hartman, Admissions
2018 Outstanding Staff Green Award (>5 Years)Sarah Hartman

  • Admissions advisor and first contact for prospective students and parents

  • Named to the 2018 Emerging Community Leaders program by United Way of Champaign County

  • Referred to as the office cheerleader whose positive attitude finds solutions and the bright side to any situation 

  • Educates office staff on new procedures, trains them on new software, and helps improve their customer-service skills

  • Extensive services include EEO representation, Parkland College Association (senator), Job Evaluation Committee, Parkland Gives365 group, Policy and Procedures Management Team, and SOAR Vision Committee

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