The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College Automotive Program to Begin EV, Hybrid Training

Auto program purchases all-electric Ford for EV, hybrid training

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Parkland College's automotive program has purchased a new Mustang Mach E electric SUV for students to study.

The Mach E, purchased from Shields Auto Center of Rantoul and funded by a Perkins grant, is a fully electric vehicle (EV) that students in the automotive program will use to gain hands-on experience with electric and hybrid automotives.

"A key component of Parkland's mission and programming is to provide our students with the tools they need for an evolving future, and our community partners with a skilled and up-to-date workforce," said David Charney, director of the Ford ASSET program. "This new investment will do both by preparing our students for the current and future needs of the industry."

Students in Parkland's Ford Automotive Student Service Education Training (ASSET) program will particularly benefit from the new purchase. Ford ASSET is a two-year Ford technical career entry pathway that allows students to earn the same Ford certifications a technician would receive at a Ford training center. Graduates can enter the workforce as entry-level service technicians with an associate's degree in automotive service technology.

With the purchase of the Mach E, ASSET students can now earn additional Ford certifications in hybrid and electric vehicles. Students will gain experience with the unique drive characteristics of a battery electric vehicle and hone their skills safely removing and replacing high voltage batteries. Along with the vehicle, students will also use new types of training aids that are based in virtual reality software. Training with electric and hybrid vehicles is not limited to students in the Ford ASSET program, however.

For more information about Parkland's automotive certifications and degree offerings, please visit or contact the department at 217/351-2481 or

Parkland Foundation Receives Endowment for Veterans' Scholarship

Parkland College receives $10,000 scholarship endowment

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The Parkland College Foundation will be creating a new scholarship fund thanks to a generous donation from the Royal American Legion and Sons of the American Legion Post 996 in Royal, Illinois.

The $10,000 endowment, presented to the Foundation on June 21, will establish the Royal American Legion Post 996 Scholarship for veterans or veterans' dependents.

"The American Legion's mission is to enhance the well-being of America's veterans, their families, and our communities by devotion to mutual helpfulness," said Aaron Allen, commander of the Royal Legion.

"We are grateful that we can honor and thank our veterans for their service to our country by providing the opportunity for veterans or their dependents to access higher education."

The Royal American Legion Post 996 Scholarship will be available in Fall 2023 for students in the following zip codes: 61847 (Gifford), 61859 (Ogden), 61862 (Penfield), 61871 (Royal), 61873 (St. Joseph) and 61878 (Thomasboro). First preference will go to veterans, and then their dependents. A dependent is defined as a spouse, child, or stepchild.

Find more information about the American Legion at Scholarship information is available at For more information about the Parkland College Foundation, please visit

SHIELD CU Testing Site at Parkland College to Close

Parkland College SHIELD CU testing site closes June 30

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The SHIELD CU testing site at Parkland College will close on June 30.

OSF HealthCare recently announced the closure of the two remaining community-based testing sites at Danville Area Community College (June 24) and Parkland College due to the end of state funding.

Nearly 80,000 tests were administered throughout the lifetime of the program. Parkland health professions students were a part of the healthcare professionals that helped support the testing locations.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to have served our community in this capacity during a time of critical need," said Vice President of Student Services Michael Trame.

"By providing a free and accessible location for community COVID-19 testing, Parkland has played a small role in keeping the community safe and healthy over the past year."

For COVID-19 testing options, residents should check with their local public health department or primary care provider. Free at-home tests are still available through the federal government. The Parkland College COVID-19 Response Team will continue to accept test results from area healthcare providers and at-home testing kits.

Parkland College's pandemic policies can be found at

Parkland Board Appoints Uken to Vacant Seat

Board of Trustees General Meeting, June 15

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The Parkland College Board of Trustees has appointed Mahomet resident Bradley Uken to fill the seat vacated by trustee Timothy Johnson's passing in May.

At their regular meeting Wednesday, Trustees unanimously approved Uken's appointment. Chairman James Voyles expressed his support for Uken, who was a candidate for the board in 2021. 

"A proud Parkland alum, Mr. Uken chose to step forward and enter the arena, get on the ballot, and run an excellent campaign," said Voyles. "He received broad support throughout the district in a competitive race. As director of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, he's a proven leader. We are looking forward to working with him."

Uken is a local of the community, raised on a farm in Champaign County, graduate of Rantoul Township High School, and a current resident of Mahomet. He has served for many years as the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau (CCFB). As manager of the CCFB​, he oversees several arms of the organization, including the Foundation, public relations, programming, membership, HR and personnel, legislative, and financial units.

An alum of Parkland College, he transferred to Illinois State University to obtain his bachelor’s degree in agri-business. He is an experienced committee member for several local boards, including the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois; the Regional Water Supply Planning Committee, where he serves as chair; and the Judicial Screening Committee, where he has served twice. He is a 12-year member of the Champaign Rotary Club, among other volunteer organizations. He will serve until the next board election in April 2023.

After administering the oath of office to Trustee Uken, Dr. Ramage presented his report to the board. Next, Erin Shannon, director of Marketing and Public Relations, provided an overview of marketing initiatives and outlined the strategic direction for the future.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • bid from K.K. Stevens Publishing Co., $46,936
  • the purchase of:
    • services from ThriveDX SaaS Inc. (Cybint), $48,000
    • services from ProTrain, $70,000
    • services from Black Rocket Productions, $25,000
    • services from Strategic Development Institute, $25,000
    • services from Grey & Associates, $30,000
    • services from Rock Gate Capital, DBA 160 Driving Academy, $1,100,000
    • repair services from Poplar Grove Airmotive, Inc., $106,500
    • maintenance services from FlightStar, $230,720
    • line services from FlightStar, $75,200
    • aviation fuel from AvFuel Corporation, $265,000
    • annual software license/maintenance renewal, $1,621,350
    • instructional/office computer hardware and software, $2,195,000
    • EBSCO Parkland Learning Commons Package renewal from EBSCO Information Services, $34,770
    • SPARK Institutional Repository renewal from Elsevier Inc., $79,923
    • CARLI databases renewal, $41,419
  • the filing of the following grant applications:
    • Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE): Illinois Cooperative Work Study (ICWS) Grant
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Career & Technical Education Perkins Postsecondary Grant
    • Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE): Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE)—Curricular Resource Management
    • Illinois Community College Board: FY23 Early School Leaver Transition Program (ESLTP)
  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Lumina Employment Connection Project (ECP) (WEI network)
    • Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO): Line-Item Appropriation Grant
    • Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT): FY21 Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP)
    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Early Childhood Access for Equity Consortium
  • personnel appointments: 
    • Adam Harris, Program Manager, SWFT, Communications/External Affairs
    • Dustin Shattuck, Academic Success Advisor, Counseling and Advising
    • Kristin Kelleher, Assistant Technical Director, Fine and Applied Arts
    • Alexis Grady-Coburn, TRiO Office Assistant, TRiO

Parkland College Spring 2022 Dean's List Announced

More than 800 students named to list

To honor their outstanding scholastic achievement, approximately 880 students have been named to the Parkland College Dean's List for Spring 2022.

To make the list, students must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 grade scale for the semester in which they are being honored. Students who earn less than 12 hours in that semester can make the dean's list by achieving a 3.5 cumulative GPA for 12 or more hours during an academic year.

To view the full dean's list, visit