The Parkland College Blog

Youth Forensic Science Experience at Parkland College in June

Eight-day camp is immersive mystery for youths 14–17

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Area youth ages 14 to 17 are invited to participate in fun, hands-on forensic science exploration at Parkland College next month.

The CSI Experience, an eight-day summer camp, will run June 17–27 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Note: Parkland College will be closed on Fridays during this time).

This camp is designed as an immersive mystery: During the two weeks, camp participants will assume the identity of a crime scene investigation character and will work with real forensic experts, law enforcement, and media professionals to collect and analyze evidence, find the culprit, and inform the public. Attending youth receive real-world experience with equipment used in the forensic and media fields. Lunch will be provided daily for camp participants.

Parkland’s CSI Experience will culminate with a scavenger hunt for missing artifacts and the presentation of the participants’ findings. Parents will be invited to attend the presentations, held on June 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Room D244.

Students turning age 14 by Sept. 1 are eligible to enroll in the CSI Experience. To register a student by June 12, or to learn more about the experience, visit or call 217/351-2235.

CobraVenture Pitch Showcase, May 20

Student entrepreneurs vie for $3,000 to help launch businesses

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Aspiring student entrepreneurs from Parkland College will soon pitch their ideas before local venture capitalists, startup experts and community members as they vie for $3,000 in seed money.

Parkland College’s Entrepreneurial Network (PEN) will hold its first-ever CobraVenture Pitch Showcase Monday, May 20, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Parkland College Student Union. The contest will highlight students from the CobraVenture program’s pilot student accelerator lab, which launched in January.

Free and open to the public, the pitch competition will include a half-hour reception and business showcase followed by the pitch event. Entrepreneurship Facilitator Marc Changnon will serve as emcee. CobraVenture’s pilot cohort includes students from a variety of academic programs who want to start their own businesses while still enrolled in college.

Judging their capstone competition will be Dan Marker of Hickory Point Bank, Carly McCrory of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, Professor Julie Weishar, chair of Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts department, Scott Miller of Green Street Realty, Joan Dixon of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, Eric Wilson of Serra Ventures, and Marissa Siero of University of Illinois Gies College of Business.

The semester-long CobraVenture accelerator provides students with an avenue for networking and business mentorship. It features a collaborative workspace, topics taught by local serial entrepreneurs, and one-on-one guidance with business mentors. Participants in the spring 2019 cohort have worked hard on getting started with their business plans to become their own boss.

CobraVenture is funded through existing funds from the Parkland Foundation Entrepreneurial Founders Program, Murray Wise Associates PEN Program, and those raised through its annual Entrepreneur of the Year event. Parkland Community Education, the college's noncredit arm, is helping to plan and administer the workshops. The program is operating with oversight from an advisory committee comprised of community leaders and Parkland College faculty and staff, spearheaded by Stephanie Stuart, vice president for communications and external affairs.

Welding Lab Designated an Accredited Test Facility

One of four Ill. community colleges accredited as test site by American Welding Society

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Parkland College Industrial Technology's welding lab has been recognized as an Accredited Test Facility by the American Welding Society, one of only four community colleges in Illinois to hold the designation. 

Through a rigorous documentation and site inspection process, the AWS provides ATF accreditation for facilities, personnel, and equipment to test and qualify welders. For more information, visit

Test Scheduling. Tests for Certified Welder (CW) may now be scheduled by appointment with Parkland College Community Education at 217/351-2235. The industrial welding facility is located inside the Parkhill Applied Technology Center on the west side of Parkland’s campus. Original construction of the building occurred in 2013, at which time the welding lab was built to AWS specifications. 

Welding Courses. Enrollment in Parkland College Welding courses has increased each semester, resulting in waitlisted advanced courses in fall 2018 and spring 2019. Registration for summer classes begins April 1, and classes start May 20. Registration for fall classes begins April 8. Due to the popularity of the program, interested students are encouraged to visit to begin the new student enrollment process as soon as possible. 

Welding Summer Camp. The Industrial Technology program began a Summer Technology Camp in 2017 in partnership with Community Education and the Early College and Career Academy to assist area youth in career exploration. Three Machining and Welding Summer Camps are planned for 2019 and are expected to fill quickly as they have in previous years. Each two-week camp for ages 14-18, covers the same material, is project-based, and provides hands-on experience with industry equipment. Registration will begin Monday, Feb. 18 at

New Dual Credit Opportunity, Summer Camp in Collision Repair

ECCA juniors can earn 20 credit hours toward a Collision Repair certificate or AAS degree

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High school students interested in collision repair have two new opportunities for training at Parkland College. 

Officials from Education for Employment System #330 and Parkland College have decided to offer Collision Repair as part of the Early College and Career Academy, a dual credit program for high school juniors and seniors, starting in the fall. Teens can get a preview of this program by attending the new Collision Repair Summer Technology Camp offered by Parkland College Community Education this June. 

A joint effort of EFE #330 and Parkland College, the ECCA provides high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn dual credit in eight different Parkland College program areas. Over 300 students have participated in the program since its inception in the 2015-2016 school year. More information is available at

Students who begin the ECCA Collision Repair option as juniors can expect to earn 20 credit hours toward a Collision Repair certificate or Associate in Applied Science degree. The program features an overview of the collision repair industry with an emphasis on the repair process. Topics cover cost estimating and measurement systems, straightening unibody systems, restoring corrosion protection, outer panel protection, dent repair, door skins, quarter panels, and removing and installing fenders, doors, and decklids. Safety principles and practices within a collision repair shop setting will be strongly emphasized, with half of the instructional time spent in a lab environment to reinforce classroom material.

Interested students should contact their high school guidance counselor for information on enrolling in the classes. ECCA students must maintain a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. The high school must grant permission for students to participate and may have their own program prerequisites. 

Collision Repair Summer Technology Camp enrollment will open Monday, Feb. 18. The camp, for students ages 14 to 18, will run June 24-27, 9 am-noon. To register, visit


Green Infrastructure Certification Course Offered in January

Parkland College state's only licensed provider of NGICP training

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Parkland College has become the only licensed provider in Illinois of a nationally recognized training and certification course in green infrastructure, a fast-growing approach to managing stormwater and creating more eco-friendly urban environments.

The Water Environment Federation's National Green Infrastructure Certification Program helps prepare individuals to professionally and properly build, inspect and maintain green infrastructure projects and includes professional development requirements that maintain this workforce skill set. Individuals who become certified through the NGICP can open the door to expanding career opportunities related to green infrastructure. In 2016 alone, nearly 1.7 million workers were directly involved in designing, constructing, operating and governing U.S. water infrastructure spanning a variety of industries, according to NGICP research

Parkland College's National Green Infrastructure Certification Program training course is scheduled for Jan. 28–Feb. 1, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m at Parkland College Community Education, 1315 N. Mattis Ave., Champaign, with afternoon labs on Parkland's main campus.

Certification benefits include:


  • Expansion of participant skills and knowledge of building, inspecting and maintaining Green Infrastructure (GI) systems

  • Greater awareness of GI career opportunities

  • Proof of participants' commitment to supporting sustainable performance of GI practices

  • Exposure to employers looking to hire skilled GI workers and employees who have certification through the NGICP Certification Database 

For more information on the NGICP at Parkland or to register, please visit or call Community Education at 217/351-2235.