The Parkland College Blog

Construction Closures at Parkland College Underway

Summer Construction to Improve Campus Accessibility

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Some Parkland College walking paths and entry doors will soon close for a new state-funded construction project that will improve accessibility on the campus's north side.

The $1.8 million summerlong project to upgrade Parkland's north service drive has begun this month and should extend into the first week of August, according to college President Dr. Tom Ramage. More than three quarters of the work is being funded by the Illinois Capital Development Board.

Project improvements (within the shaded area on linked map) will include:

  • new pavement for the service drive's lane and parking areas 
  • replacement of two sets of stairs on the L wing, converting one set to a ramp
  • adding eight additional spaces for patient parking at the north end of the Parkland Dental Hygiene Clinic, including an accessibility space
  • improved utility and drainage work

"We look forward to upgrading the ADA compliant entrance to our Dental Hygiene Clinic, improving efficiencies for our service vehicles, and offering ease of access with a ramp at the L4 entrance," Ramage said. "The benefits will be well worth the temporary inconvenience, and we thank the campus community for its patience while we make these improvements."

Parkland will close access to the L wing's two west entry doors, L3 and L4, during construction, rerouting visitors who might approach the building from the M parking lots. Students, staff, and dental clinic patients can still access the building from its east entry doors, L1 (accessible) and L5, or approach the wing after entering through connected buildings.

To visit the Parkland Dental Clinic during the construction period, patients may park at the smaller, guest parking lot located adjacent to the U wing on the east side of campus. 

Registration Now Open for Summer, Fall 2021 Classes

Summer and fall registration now open for all students

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Open registration for Parkland College Fall Semester 2021 starts April 5. See a full listing of available courses at

Fall semester classes begin the week of August 23 (for full 16-week and first 8-week sessions) and later with expanded in-person course offerings following guidance of the Restore Illinois plan.

See the College Calendar for dates and deadlines, drop/withdrawal steps, tuition and fee information, and more. Students may need to meet with an academic advisor before registering. Academic advisors are available remotely, by emailing For a listing of registration steps, please visit

Register by August 22 for classes that begin August 23, by September 12 for classes that begin September 13, and by October 17 for classes that begin October 18. 


Parkland's Child Development Center Receives Gold Circle of Quality

Shows continuous quality improvement commitment to children in Champaign

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Parkland College's Child Development Center received the Gold Circle of Quality designation from ExceleRate Illinois, the state's new quality recognition and improvement system for early learning and development providers.

"Every early learning and development provider who participates in ExceleRate Illinois makes quality a priority," said Cynthia L. Tate Ph.D., Executive Director, Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development. "The higher the designation, the higher the program's demonstrated quality and comprehensiveness in meeting children's early learning needs."

"We are proud to receive the Gold Circle of Quality," said Adrienne Shockley, director of the Child Development Center. "Providing quality in early learning and development will help our children in Champaign be better prepared for success in school and in life."

ExceleRate Illinois helps families make more informed choices about their children's early learning. It establishes standards to help infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. Additionally, it provides a framework for early learning and development professionals to identify opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Research in science and brain development shows that children who are more meaningfully engaged in early learning experiences from infancy through the first five years of life are more likely to be successful in school and in life. With the right engagement, children can form a healthy foundation of neural pathways in the brain, which impact their ability to think, react, process, and grow.

ExceleRate Illinois is a comprehensive system that includes Licensed Child Care Centers, Licensed Family Child Care, Preschool for All and Center-Based Prevention Initiative Programs, Head Start and Early Head Start Programs.

For more information or to find a Child Care Resource & Referral Agency in your area, visit

ExceleRate Illinois is administered through INCCRRA under the joint direction of the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

For more information about Parkland's Child Development Center, visit

Parkland College Day of Giving is March 31

Parkland College Foundation to host Day of Giving fundraiser, March 31

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The Parkland College Foundation will be hosting the 2021 Day of Giving scholarship fundraiser on Wednesday, March 31.

Starting at 12 a.m. and running to midnight, individuals, businesses, and groups are asked to visit, search for a fund they care about (scholarships, Athletics, etc.), and donate any amount.

During the 2020 Parkland Day of Giving, the community raised over $74,000 that went directly to Parkland College and thousands of deserving students.

The 2020 #ParklandGivingDay donations provided:

  • Over $56,800 in scholarships helping students with tuition, fees, and books

  • $13,300 to the Creating Impact fund, which supports the greatest needs of the college

  • Nearly $4,500 went directly to academic programs to enhance instruction across campus


Every donation impacts a worthy student at Parkland. "As a donor, you are a part of the story of changing my life and the life of my family," said one recipient in their thank you letter. "I look forward to the day when I can give back in the same way."

"My time has been spent divided between whether I could afford time to work or study. Financially, I have managed to scrape by just barely," said another. "Now I can breathe a sigh of relief. You have my sincerest thanks, not just for the scholarship, but for the feeling that someone out there appreciates what I'm doing and is lending me a helping hand."

On Wednesday, March 31, the Foundation will once again accept donations and funds for Parkland College and its students.

Ways to give:

GEER Up Now Accepting Applications for Summer 2021

Parkland Program Offers Free Classes to Area High Schoolers

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Parkland College's GEER Up program is returning this summer to help eligible area high school students transition to college with free credit-earning classes and is accepting applications.

Funded by the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund announced last year, GEER Up will serve an additional 50 students this summer, according to Lisa Lyne, program manager for Early College Services.

"We've been pleased with the success of the program so far," said Lyne. "It's important to us that our area students have the opportunity to prepare for college, no matter where they go."

GEER Up assists high school students interested in dual enrollment classes at Parkland College and who are facing increased financial hardship. The program provides eligible students up to $2,500 in assistance for tuition, fees, books, and technology in an award package determined by the student's chosen program of study.

While the program aims to expand access to dual enrollment classes for District 505's low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation high school students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Parkland College's efforts to serve these populations doesn't stop there.

"GEER Up ensures that our students are able to access and find success in Parkland career programs," said Lyne. "A major goal of the program is to help these students transition smoothly to higher education through academic support, access to academic advising, and financial literacy coaching."

The program requires that students take First Year Experience 101, which helps them with self-assessment, goal-setting, educational and career planning, time management, interpersonal communication, and personal development. In addition, students receive support from faculty mentors, and can choose to take additional coursework to earn credits.

Parkland College is currently accepting applications for the GEER Up program.

Summer Session 2021 begins on May 17. All high school students may apply, including 2021 high school graduates. Applications are available and submitted at Academic advising is available to students upon application.

For more information, please visit or contact the Early College Office at or 217/353-2663.