The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Land Surveying students and faculty will be official surveyors at this weekend's "World Championship Punkin Chunkin" event in Rantoul.
Using high accuracy GPS equipment, Kory Allred, Land Surveying faculty member, will lead a group of students to set team areas and measure pumpkin flight distances from more than 30 “machines” signed up to participate in this annual event, which takes place at the former Chanute Airforce Base Nov. 2 and 3.
“It will be a great experience for the students that allows them to utilize the skills learned in classes in new ways!” Allred said.
Additionally, Todd Horton, Construction Management program director, will be entering the competition with his own punkin’-chunkin’ machine.
The two-day contest will allow three shots by each machine to determine the 2019 World Champion: two shots fired on Saturday and a final competition shot on Sunday. Usually held in Delaware, the competition has moved to Illinois for the first time outside of its home state.
The World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) will carry on a tradition started more than 35 years ago with this year’s event, according to Frank Payton III, WCPCA president. The WCPCA is a trademark, all-volunteer nonprofit that raises money for scholarships and organizations that benefit the local community. It hosts a signature pumpkin-launching event each year, fueling innovative engineering and science-based ideas that draw spectators from all over.
A weekend pass to the Championship is $20, and daily passes may be purchased online for $10 per day. Admission at the competition will be $15 per day (cash only). Children under 10 will be able to enter the event for free.
For more information visit the World Championship Punkin Chunkin website at

Parkland Marks National Nontraditional Student, Distance Learning Week

Departments recognize online, nontraditional students week of Nov. 4

In two separate national observances that run the week of Nov. 4, Parkland College will recognize its nontraditional adult student and online student learners.

National Nontraditional Student Week, Nov. 4–10. According to the Association for Nontraditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE), a nontraditional student is one who: likely lives independently of parental financial assistance; may have one or more dependents; may be a single caregiver; may not have a traditional high school diploma; may have delayed postsecondary enrollment; may be attending school part time; or may be employed full time. Nontrads comprise the fastest-growing segment of college enrollees, according to the Dept. of Education. At Parkland College, nearly 35 percent of all enrolled students are over the age of 21.

To celebrate this group, Parkland College's Adult Re-Entry Services, in conjunction with Eastern Illinois University and other academic partners, will be celebrating Nontraditional Student Week from Nov. 4 to Nov. 7. Planned activities include a presentation with EIU's Bachelor of General Studies program on how to advance from an Associate in General Studies degree to the BGS degree; a "nontraditional-friendly" transfer fair; refreshment opportunities; and more.

For more information on nontraditional students and campus events for Nontraditional Student Week, please contact Anthony Hooker, admissions advisor, at 217/351-2462 or

National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), Nov. 4–8. The purpose of National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) is to generate greater awareness and appreciation for distance learning, including K-12, higher education, corporate and military, while recognizing leaders and best practices in the field.

Parkland College's Professional Development and Instructional Technology department (PDIT) is taking the opportunity to promote its online classes and programs during this week. PDIT lists the top reasons to take online classes, available through the following blog post on the college's website:

For more information on distance learning and online classes at Parkland College, please contact Lori Wendt, learning management system specialist for PDIT, at 217/353-2012 or

Registration for Spring Classes

Current-student registration starts Oct. 28; sign up early for best course selection

Parkland College will open registration for Spring 2020 classes Monday, Oct. 28 for current students and Monday, Nov. 4 for all new students. Students should register on their first available date to secure a preferred course schedule.

Parkland College is a nationally recognized trainer for career programs in precision agriculture, surgical technology, land surveying, Google IT, and many more. With its mission is to engage the community in learning, the school offers open access to affordable instruction in more than 130 AA and AS transfer-degree, applied science-degree, and certificate options. Over 7,000 students, including international students from 40+ countries, study at Parkland's campus in Champaign.
Spring classes begin the week of Jan. 13. Those interested in taking college courses for the first time may apply to Parkland in several ways. Visit for more information on how to apply. Registration for full-term and 8-week spring classes will continue through Jan. 12. For more information on registration steps, call the Office of Admissions and Records at 217/351-2482 or email

Parkland, YWCA to Host Free Career Conference for Women

Women’s Career Institute to feature breakout sessions, keynote, resources

Parkland College and the YWCA will cosponsor a career conference and resource fair for women at the campus this fall.

The Women’s Career Institute will be held Friday, Oct. 11 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the Parkland College Student Union (U Building). This event is free to community members, particularly women looking to take new steps in their careers.

The event will consist of breakout sessions and a keynote speaker. Registrants may stay for the whole conference or come for a session or two. Refreshments will be provided. Pre-registration is encouraged for this event. For more information or to register, visit

Parkland Wins IL Student Activities Association Honors

Student Life earns Ed Snyder Merit Book Award honorable mention

Parkland College's Student Life office has earned an Ed Snyder Merit Book Award honorable mention from the Illinois Community College Student Activities Association.
Parkland will receive its recognition during the ICCSAA Fall Student Conference Oct. 18–19 at Rock Run Convention Center and Joliet Junior College.
A merit book is a binder, or bound document, that provides an accounting of activities and services provided by each year's student government, leadership council, or activities board. Student governments must demonstrate excellence in six criteria to earn the award: Student Voice, Assistance to Other Clubs and Organizations, Student Leadership Training, Community and/or Committee Service, Assuring Provision of Programming and Assuring Continuity of Governance.
One of only two community colleges to earn the distinction for the 2018-2019 academic year, Parkland College Student Government excelled among its peers because of several new programs available to students, according to Student Life Director Tracy Kleparski.
"Parkland College was selected as an award recipient because of the diversity of student engagement programs, including the Student Leadership Academy and opportunities to directly engage with President Tom Ramage to inform our leadership about the student experiences at Parkland," Kleparski said.