The Parkland College Blog

Remote Career Support by Parkland Career Services

New resource from Career Services for currently unemployed, new students

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Unemployed community members and students seeking career help will benefit from a new resource from the Parkland College Career Services unit.


The new initiative, Remote Career Support, features an informative web page,, as well as direct virtual assistance from a designated Career Services advisor.


Parkland College's Career Services department began the effort in late March to help community members and students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote Career Support provides vital services such as job postings, free career assessments, resume-writing assistance, interview preparation tips, job-finding resources, and guidance for students selecting a major. The new web page will be updated frequently, with multiple modes to assist students remotely, including immediate access to information and recordings of live information sessions.

While students and residents can still email for assistance, Remote Career Support’s designated career counselor, Brennon Hightower, is also available to provide remote virtual assistance through her direct email, With more than six years of academic advising experience under her belt, Hightower is well-prepared to tackle the unique challenges students and community members are facing during the current crisis.


"My goal is to be available to students and the Parkland community who need information and resources that assist in securing employment opportunities, as well as to help undecided students choose a major," Hightower said. "While a lot of information is currently being developed and shared remotely, I am looking forward to working with students and the community directly."

Free Career and Technical Education Prep Classes Start March 9

Free CTE Bridge to Career Prep Classes

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Parkland College is offering FREE preparation or “bridge” classes to prepare students for college-level Career and Technical certificate classes. Classes will also help students pass college entrance exams, high school equivalency exams (HSE, HiSet, or GED), or acquire career-specific English language fluency (ESL).
CTE-prep classes prepare students for entry into Parkland Programs such as:

  • Health Careers certificates: Sterile Processing, Phlebotomy Tech, Medical Billing and Coding, Nursing Assistant (CNA)

  • Industrial Technology certificates: Industrial Welding, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Electrical Power, Machinery Maintenance

  • Business, Management, and Administration certificates: Office Assistant, Computers in Business, Bookkeeping Office Assistant

Classes are available morning or evening. The full schedule may be found below or at

English Communications classes for intermediate and advanced English language learners to improve professional and academic English before starting:

  • English Communications for Nursing Assistant: M/T/W/R, 8:30 a.m.–noon

  • English Communications for Industrial Technology — Welding, Electrical, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Engineering: T/W/R, 6–9 p.m.

  • English Communications for Beginning Computers: M/T/R, 7–9 p.m. 


College and Career Readiness (CCR) bridge classes provide career-specific reading and math instruction to prepare students for college-level academics:

  • CCR prep for Health Careers: M/T/W, 5:30–8:30 p.m. 

  • CCR prep for Industrial Technology – Welding, Electrical, Hydraulics, Pneumatics, Engineering: T/R, 6–9 p.m. 

  • CCR prep for Business, Management, and Administration: M/T/W/R, 9 a.m.–noon 


To learn more, attend one of the optional information sessions listed below. All information sessions will be held at Parkland College Community Education at 1315 N. Mattis Ave. To sign up, visit

  • Intro to Computers for English Language Learners: 6–7 p.m., Tuesday, February 25

  • College and Career Readiness for Health Careers: 6–7 p.m., Wednesday, February 26

  • English Communications for Nursing Assistant: 9–10 a.m., Friday, February 28 

  • English Communications for Industrial Technology: 6–7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3

  • College and Career Readiness for Industrial Technology: 6–7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3

  • College and Career Readiness for Business, Management, and Administration: 9–10 a.m., Wednesday, March 4


Registration for classes takes about three hours and occurs by appointment in Parkland College Building E. Please call or email Parkland College Adult Education and Workforce Development at 217/351-2580 or to schedule a registration appointment. 


In Fiscal Year 2020, 42% ($171,460) of the Parkland College Adult Education Program is funded through Federal funds under Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. Funding provided in part by the Illinois Community College Board 2019 Innovative Bridges and Transitions grant. SWFT is a 2019 Illinois Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) grant program.

Families, Tutors Wanted for New Family Tutoring Program

Volunteer tutor training Sept. 28 for Parent, Family Learning Lab

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Backed by a state learning grant, a new Parkland College family tutoring program has launched this month and is seeking new volunteer tutors and families.

Project READ's Parent and Family Learning Lab, part of the Penny Severns Family Learning Grant, is being cosponsored with the Champaign Public Library Douglass Branch and Champaign Unit 4 Community Schools to offer tutoring and library services to area families.
Once a week, families come together for a meal, parent and child activities, and tutoring. The children will be tutored in literacy, language and numeracy by certified teachers, while their parents will be tutored in math, literacy and ESL by trained Project READ tutors.

The program includes a monthly library-skills evening workshop to help families best use their local libraries. Families will also have the opportunity to take part in Healthy Beginnings and ParentComm University activities provided by the Center for Family and Community Engagement in Unit 4 Schools.

The Parent and Family Learning Lab takes place Mondays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Stratton Elementary School, with the library workshops being held at the CPL Douglass Branch. Parents and adult family member participants must live with a child who goes to a Unit 4 school, be at least 17 years old, and be seeking ESL or Adult Basic Ed services (below high school level).

Project READ is holding a training session for new volunteer tutors Sept. 28 at the Adult Education Department. Those who want to work with adults on ESL, literacy or math in any and all tutoring sites are invited to sign up at

For more information, please call Project READ at 217/353-2662 or

Parkland, YWCA to Host Free Career Conference for Women

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

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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

Project READ Parent Lab Receives State Literacy Grant

Penny Severns Family Literacy Grant to fund program through 2021

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A Parkland College Adult Education program that trains adult residents to assist their kids and grandkids with school subjects will soon receive funding from a new state family literacy grant and is currently looking for volunteer tutors to boost program offerings.

The Project READ "Parent and Family Learning Lab," which launched in February as "Parent Lab," has been awarded a fiscal year 2020 grant by the Illinois State Library's Penny Severns Family Literacy Program. The state program supports initiatives that provide comprehensive literacy instruction and support to families. To successfully provide this supportive structure for intergenerational learning and empowerment, Project READ must have 20 new tutors trained and certified by August 31.

A collaboration among Champaign Unit 4 Community Schools, the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Library, and Project READ, the Parent Lab features tutors who help adult residents familiarize themselves with the important skills and content that their kids and grandkids are doing at school, primarily by providing personalized English, math and reading support in various subjects.

About 20 participating families—adults and children—will continue to receive the one-on-one adult education (taught by Project READ tutors), K-5 education (taught by Unit 4 teachers), library services, childcare/parenting education (organized by the Parent Com University programs at Unit 4), and parent-child together time offered through the program, according to Dr. Amanda Harris, Project READ director.

"The core group of adults who have participated since the February launch have made measurable gains in their educational focuses (primarily ESL), and they have become familiar with school support staff and services through the tutoring site," Harris said. "They have also obtained library cards and made regular use of the Douglass Branch of the Champaign Public Library.

Parents/adult family member participants must live with a child who goes to a Unit 4 school, be at least 17 years old, and be seeking ESL or Adult Basic Ed services (below High School level).

Those interested in becoming a Project READ tutor and tutoring adults can tutor adults in this new program and in other Project READ tutoring settings, which include Adult Education classrooms, drop-in tutoring sites, and one-to-one sites in the community.  Please sign up for one of the following volunteer training sessions by emailing or by registering at

  • July 18, 6–8 p.m. at Wesley Foundation

  • July 31, 6–7:30 p.m. at Parkland Adult Education  office, Building E, campus

  • Aug. 14,9–10:30 a.m. at Parkland Adult Education  office, Building E, campus

For more information, please call Project READ at 217/353-2662 or