The Parkland College Blog

Girl and Boy Scout Merit Badge Workshops at Planetarium

Staerkel Planetarium will conduct two interactive Scout workshops this spring

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The William M. Staerkel Planetarium will conduct two interactive Merit Badge workshops for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts this spring. 

Girl Scout Space Science Adventurer Badge workshop:

  • Thursday, May 21, 7–8:30 p.m.

  • $4 per Scout

Boy Scout Astronomy Merit Badge workshop:

  • Wednesday, May 27, 7–9:30 p.m.

  • $5 per Scout

Please note that these sessions are workshops, not just a show, so scouts must be ready to work! Scouts must bring a pencil or pen and a flashlight covered with red plastic/cellophane. Scouts will receive a booklet based on requirements. The workshop will cover the badge requirements, and scouts will submit the completed work booklet to their scout office to receive the badge.

Advanced registration is required. The registration deadline is a week prior to the chosen workshop (May 14 for Girl Scouts, May 20 for Boy Scouts). There will be no registration taken at the door. There must be a minimum number of registrations to conduct the workshop; in the case of cancellation, refunds will be issued. 

To register, click here. Complete one form per Scout and leader. For more information, call 217/351-2567 or visit

College for Kids Summer Youth Program Celebrates 40 Years

Program registration opens February 17

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Parkland College Community Education will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its College for Kids summer youth enrichment program. Registration begins Monday, Feb. 17 for elementary and middle school students.

The popular two-week sessions for ages 8–13 has offered hands-on, interactive enrichment classes for students in the community for 40 years. Taught by innovative professional educators, the classes offer students the opportunity to explore everything from science, technology, and engineering to culinary, visual, and performing arts. Students learn something new, explore interests, and discover new hobbies in a safe and comfortable environment.

Registrations are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. Two sessions are offered: June 15–25 (Session I) with a registration deadline of June 1; and July 6–16 (Session II) with a registration deadline of June 22.

CFK classes meet Monday through Thursday at 12:45 p.m.– 2:45 p.m. and 3 p.m.– 5 p.m. A limited number of scholarships are available for students who qualify. Over the last three years, dozens of students have received scholarships from the CFK Program.

Register at and browse by category Youth and College for Kids.

For more information about the College for Kids program, please contact Community Education at, or by phone at 217/351-2235.

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

Parkland, Farm Bureau to Host Breakfast on Hemp Farming

Panel of experts to discuss hemp as a growing commodity

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Parkland College and the Champaign County Farm Bureau will host a breakfast to discuss hemp as a growing commodity.

The breakfast will be held Friday, Sept. 13 from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Parkland's Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center, Room W115. A panel of experts will be on hand to provide a brief history of hemp and cover uses, growing considerations, current state and federal regulations, and business opportunities in this developing industry. Speakers include Bill Bodine, associate director of state legislation, Illinois Farm Bureau; Stacy McCaskill, executive director, Illinois SBDC at Sauk Valley Community College; and Mike Doherty, Illinois Farm Bureau's senior economist and policy analyst.

A registration fee of $25 by Sept. 6 reserves a seat at the breakfast. To register, visit or call 217/351-2235. 

Highway Construction Careers Training Orientation

Open session for those interested in becoming laborers, carpenters, electricians, more

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Parkland College will host a Highway Construction Careers Training Program (HCCTP) orientation for residents interested in becoming laborers, operating engineers, ironworkers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and pipefitters.

The orientation will be Tuesday, July 9, 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.) and Wednesday, July 10, 10 a.m. to noon, at Parkland Community Education, 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign, Room J127. The event is open to the public.

Funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Highway Construction Careers Training Program offers education and practice in highway construction trades at no cost to enroll for qualified residents. The program is designed to increase the number of minority groups, disadvantaged persons, and women working on IDOT highway construction projects. Participants train as "pre-apprentices," learning life skills, safety, first aid, equipment training, flagger training, general construction, math for the trades, welding, and basic skills in plumbing, electrical work, and sheet metal. For more information, visit or call 217/351-2235.