The Parkland College Blog

Parkland College to Host Parkland AgTech Showcase

Parkland College AgTech Showcase, March 10

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As part of Champaign-Urbana AgTech Week, Parkland College invites local community partners, ag industry professionals, K-12 educators, community members, students, and parents to join us for the Parkland College AgTech Showcase.

On Thursday, March 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors can step inside Parkland's agriculture facilities, learn about the future of the Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture, and explore the new Early College and Career Academy (ECCA) program in Precision Agriculture.

The event will open with a presentation at 9 a.m. in the Tony Noel Agricultural Technology Applications Center (W Building) followed by tours of the college's ag facilities. Throughout the event, participants will learn about the recently launched ECCA track in Precision Agriculture and employer-sponsored programs such as the CNH Service Technician and Advanced Applicator Technician programs, and hear from Parkland's newest partner AGCO/Fendt about the new dealer technical training offering on campus.

Visitors can also enjoy hands-on activities such as drones, equipment ride-alongs, data visualization, an applicator simulator, and more; learn about opportunities that provide students with 100 percent paid tuition and guaranteed job placement upon graduation; and discover career opportunities in the ag industry by hearing from local employers in the field.

Parkland Ag and Diesel programs offer two-year Associate in Applied Science programs, a transfer program, the Parkland Pathway program, and numerous certificates that prepare students and working professionals with training, education, and credentials they could use right away.

RSVP by March 8. Prospective students should register here, and other community members here.

Kaler Science Lecture to Discuss Sustainable Materials Research

Parkland Planetarium Hosts Kaler Science Lecture Series, March 4

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Next up for the James B. Kaler Science Lecture series at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College is sustainable energy research.

On Friday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m., University of Illinois assistant professor of materials science and engineering Dr. Nicola Perry will present "Ceramics That Breathe: New Materials Development for Sustainable Energy." Kaler Lecture tickets are $2 or free for Friends of the Staerkel Planetarium.

Perry's research group focuses on functional ceramic materials that can improve the sustainability, efficiency, and durability of fuel cells, electrolysis cells, and batteries. During the talk, Perry will describe how her group makes "solid state ionic" materials, a special class of functional ceramics, and tests them in extreme environments to explore new design guidelines.

Perry earned her bachelor's degrees, one in materials science and engineering and one in French studies, at Rice University. She earned her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at Northwestern University. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern, MIT, and Kyushu University, and served on the faculty of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research. She received early career awards from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

Kaler Science lectures are filmed by Parkland College TV for later viewing. After the talk, the seats will be cleaned before the 8 p.m. show, "Big Astronomy," a program about the staff who maintain Chile's world-class observatories. Admission to fulldome shows is $6 for adults or $5 for children, students, or seniors. Please visit for the show schedule or call 217/351-2568 for information about booking the dome.

Parkland College Announces New Logistics Training Program in Partnership with Caterpillar in Champaign

Parkland College partners with Caterpillar for new logistics training apprenticeship program

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[NOTE: This is the corrected version of the original release from 2/23/22.]

Parkland College announced a new apprenticeship program in collaboration with Caterpillar Integrated Logistics Center, a provider of integrated supply chain solutions.

The program aims to upskill entry-level warehouse associates and prepare them for advancement opportunities within the industry by combining on-the-job learning and mentoring in Caterpillar logistics centers with classroom instruction provided by Parkland.

"Parkland College is pleased to partner with Caterpillar in this work-based learning program," said Derrick Baker, dean of Career and Technical Education. "We have been impressed by Caterpillar's desire to put a program in place that will provide such a great benefit to the community. Workforce development is an important part of our mission, and Parkland looks forward to more opportunities to assist employers by developing these kinds of 'earn while you learn' programs to expand employers' talent pipelines, increase employee retention, and open doors of opportunity for the local community."

The apprenticeship program launches in late March. Apprentices will work full-time at CAT while taking related courses at Parkland. Classroom time is included in the employees' work hours, and they will be compensated for that time. Four courses comprise the related training instruction portion of the program and the 10 credit hours earned throughout the apprenticeship apply toward Parkland's Business Management Associate in Applied Science degree. Caterpillar will cover all educational expenses for their apprentices.

Parkland Preview to Help High School Students Explore Career Interests

Parkland to Host Parkland Preview Open House on March 25

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Parkland College's "Parkland Preview" event for high school seniors will be returning on Friday, March 25 from 12 to 2 p.m. in the Student Union. 

The Parkland Preview allows prospective and admitted students to explore their major with the instructors and staff of Parkland's transfer and career programs. 23 different Parkland programs and departments will be present at the event, including nursing, dental hygiene, surgical technology, arts and sciences, aviation, agriculture, business/computer science and technologies, and more.

Breakout sessions highlighting financial aid, scholarships, and the Parkland experience from a student's perspective will round out the event agenda. Staff from academic departments, specialized programs, student-focused offices, and health professions will be available to answer questions.

During the event, students will have the option to take a tour of campus, talk with an admissions advisor, or make further appointments with student service offices.
Registration is open now at or by calling 217/351-2482.

Parkland Board Approves Tuition Freeze for 2022-2023

Board of Trustees General Meeting, February 16

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Parkland College will keep next year's base tuition rates the same as 2021-2022.

At its regular meeting Wednesday, the Board of Trustees voted to keep Parkland's in-district tuition rates at $148.50 per credit hour (all Tier One courses) through the 2022-2023 academic year, effective summer session 2022. The decision followed the annual Budget Workshop for Parkland Trustees led by Chief Financial Officer Christopher Randles.

The board also heard an enrollment update from Dean of Enrollment Management Kristin Smigielski, and approved the removal of a $10 processing fee for students applying to Health Professions programs.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • updates to Policy and Procedures Manual, Policy 8.21

  • 2022-2023 Course Fee Schedule

  • base bid plus alternate classrooms 1 through 5 from Midwest Computer Products, Inc., $416,172

  • the purchase of:

    • ALEKS PPL testing units from McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings LLC, $60,000

    • services from ThriveDX SaaS Inc., $60,000

    • base bid plus alternate classrooms 1 through 5 from Midwest Computer Products, Inc., $416,172

    • audit services of BKD CPAs & Advisors for FY2022-FY2024, $187,575

  • the filing of the following grant applications:

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Competency-Based Education Program Development

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): FY22 Transitional Instruction Innovation Grant

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Developmental Education Innovation Grant for Co-Requisite Implementation

  • the acceptance of funds from external sources:

    • Illinois Community College Board (ICCB): Innovative Bridge and Transitions Grant

  • personnel appointments: 

    • Megan Johnson, CVT Lead Lab Asst., Health Professions

    • Nicole Olmo, Accountant, Business Office

    • Samuel Standerfer, Infrastructure Specialist, Network Support Services