The Parkland College Blog

The Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and Parkland College will join community, regional and state partners to celebrate February as Career and Technical Education Month®, or CTE Month®, which recognizes the value and accomplishments of career and technical education programs in the U.S. 

Throughout the month of February, area entities will participate in this national celebration, created by the Association of Career and Technical Education (ACTE), chiefly by disseminating information on CTE programs and opportunities in and around Champaign County through the social media campaign, #CTEinIL

#CTEinIL is designed to promote CTE programs and career opportunities in Champaign County and throughout the state of Illinois. Participating organizations, schools, and employers will use the #CTEinIL hashtag throughout the month of February to build awareness about their own initiatives, while also helping to tell the story of CTE opportunities within the state.  

Participating organizations include: 

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation
Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
Champaign Unit 4 School District
Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation
Early College & Career Academy
Education for Employment System #330
ICATT Apprenticeship Program
Illinois Manufacturers’ Association
Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District #3
Parkland College
Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 149
Rantoul Township High School
Urbana School District #116 

What is CTE? Career and technical education, or CTE, is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management and many more. 

CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom. 

For more details on CTE Month®, as well as partnering companies and organizations celebrating #CTEinIL, visit  

"Give Kids a Smile" Dental Day, Feb. 16

Come in for free exams, cleanings, fluoride, for children ages 1–17

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Parkland College's Dental Hygiene Clinic will host a free "Give Kids a Smile Day" dental clinic for youths ages 1–17 Saturday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room L148.

Treatment provided will consist of dental exams and cleanings, fluoride treatments, and educational activities for children. No appointment is needed.

"Give Kids a Smile Day" is sponsored by the Illini District Dental Society in partnership with the Parkland College's Dental Hygiene program and the SmileHealthy Dental program through Promise Healthcare.

Individuals interested in this special event may contact Peg Boyce at 217/351-2386 or for more information. 

PRECS: Research Opportunity for US Community College Students

Parkland, UIUC opportunity offers biology research experience, stipend 

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Community college students interested in science are invited to conduct research as part of a paid 10-week biology research program at Parkland College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Called PRECS, or Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, the program is a collaboration between Parkland and the UIUC, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. It is designed to provide community college students with authentic research experiences in phenotypic plasticity, the phenomenon of a single genotype producing multiple phenotypes depending on environment.

Parkland College is currently seeking 10 community college students to participate in PRECS, which will run May 22 to July 31, 2019. Students selected to participate in the summer program will be paired with research mentors at the University of Illinois, working on such projects as:

  • the interaction between genotype and ozone pollution on maize growth

  • the effect of environmental stress on neuroanatomy

  • the interactions of genes and environment on fish behavior

Students will earn a $5,500 stipend for their participation in PRECS. Housing and food allowances, as well as travel allowances (if needed) are also available.

Parkland College chemistry professor Dr. C. Britt Carlson and Dr. Nathan Schroeder of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created PRECS. The program is entering its third year, with 20 students from five states having benefited from the opportunity.

"Participating in a program like PRECS is a great way for students to gain experience, create new contacts, explore future careers, and build their resumes," Carlson said.

Students interested in participating in PRECS must be attending a community college, be a US citizen or permanent resident, and have completed General Biology I (General Chemistry I is also preferred). PRECS encourages applications from students from underrepresented groups.

"PRECS gave me a true experience, exposing me to what my life would be like after graduating with my bachelor's degree," according to Aaron West, a former PRECS participant. "I feel more prepared moving forward with my education."

Applications for summer 2019 are due March 15. For more information on PRECS, please visit

Ring Ceremony for Cobras Baseball Rescheduled

NJCAA-D2 World Series Runners-Up to get rings during Feb. 2 Men's Bball game

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Parkland Athletics Director Brendan McHale announced on Wednesday that the 2018 Parkland Baseball Ring Ceremony has been rescheduled for Feb. 2 during halftime of the 3 p.m. Cobras Men’s Basketball game at the Dodds Athletic Center. 

Originally scheduled for Jan. 12, the ceremony was canceled due to inclement weather. In addition to the ring ceremony, fans can catch both women’s and men’s basketball teams in action that day, as they host M-WAC opponent John Wood at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. 

"This is a great chance to recognize these incredible student athletes and coaches for their accomplishments at the national level," McHale said. "Parkland College is grateful for their time and dedication in the classroom and on the baseball field."  

Feb. 2 is also ALS Awareness Day, and the Parkland basketball teams will raise awareness and help support the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. 

A three-time D2 World Series champ (2002, 2005 and 2009), the Cobras concluded their third consecutive trip to the NJCAA World Series last May with a second-place finish. The Cobras took home third place in 2017 and placed eighth in 2016.

The ring ceremony is open to the public.