The Parkland College Blog

Open Enrollment for Parkland College Child Development Center

Now enrolling children ages 2 to 5 years for the fall 2018 semester

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The Parkland College Child Development Center is accepting applications for enrollment of children ages 2 to 5 years for the fall 2018 semester. 
Parkland College CDC
Families in the area who are looking for high-quality full- or part-time child care take advantage of this Champaign-Urbana resource on the Parkland campus. Licensed through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the CDC is a demonstration laboratory school open to Parkland College students, staff, and district residents. It encourages whole-child education, offering a variety of experiences that help children develop good self-discipline, positive interactions with other children and adults, and an appreciation of a multicultural, multiethnic society.  

The CDC facility provides three large classrooms, each led by a head teacher and an assistant teacher who are professional staff at Parkland College. Its program features a low student-teacher ratio, fresh and tasty meals prepared on site, onsite public safety, spacious and secure green space, indoor play areas, an in-house library with lending services, and onsite enrichment opportunities on the Parkland College campus including visits to the Staerkel Planetarium.

Located in building G on the school's main campus, the CDC accepts CCRS and offers a sliding scale for its tuition rates.

For more information, contact Nancy Kemna or Tara Bailey at 217/373-3777 or visit parkland.edu/cdc.

Fall Welcome Convocation, August 23

Games, information, lunch to welcome students back to campus

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Parkland College will hold its annual Fall Welcome Convocation on Thursday, August 23, beginning at 11 a.m. on the Student Union patio.

This kickoff to the new academic year welcomes new and returning students to a campus community that values scholarship, academic honesty, and civility. A highlight of Parkland's Welcome Back Week for students and employees, the fall convocation informs new students about values of the campus in an informal, fun-filled, and welcoming environment.

Parkland's 2018 Convocation will feature a student club sign-up fair, a "tie dye your own T-shirt" art table, free lunch for the student community (valid ID required), and other activities. WPCD-FM, the student-run radio station, will air its music at the event. 

A new feature this year is Guitar Hero Challenge, where participants have the opportunity to compete against Parkland College President Tom Ramage at the popular music rhythm game.  

Dean of Students Marietta Turner said the convocation is designed to strengthen students' connections to Parkland. "It emphasizes that they are on a journey that begins with their first class and ends with a degree," she said.

"College is where students figure out what they want to do with their lives and get the education they need to achieve their dreams," Turner added. "Convocation starts that process."

The Welcome Convocation is part of Parkland's First Year Experience (FYE) initiative, a campus-wide effort designed to increase retention and graduation rates.

Open Auditions for Parkland Theatre Fall Shows

Auditions 9–noon for "Servant of Two Masters", "Musical Comedy Murders of 1940"

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Parkland Theatre will hold auditions for the first two shows of its fall season Saturday, Aug. 25 at the theatre.
 
Auditions for "The Servant of Two Masters" and "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. Callbacks, if needed, will be Sunday, Aug. 26 from 5 to 7 p.m.
 
Auditionees should register for an audition timeslot at parkland.edu/auditions.
 
"The Servant of Two Masters" director Michael O'Brien is casting approximately 12 actors of all genders, ages 16 and over. Auditions will consist of improv and movement exercises. Please wear comfortable clothes that allow ease of movement to the audition.
 
"The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" director Mathew Green is casting 10 actors, five male and five female, ages 16 and over. Actors will read from sides which can be found at parkland.edu/auditions
 
Performances for "The Servant of Two Masters" will run in Parkland Theatre's Second Stage Sept. 27–Oct 7. Performances for "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940" will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre Nov. 8–18.
 
All members of the community as well as Parkland and University of Illinois students are invited to audition; Parkland Theatre encourages diversity. Those with additional questions should email hlayman@parkland.edu.

Trustees Refinance Bond Debt, Review Enrollment

Refinancing could save taxpayers $5.4 million over decade

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Parkland College District 505 taxpayers could save approximately $5.4 million over the next 10 years on debt payments following a measure taken by the college to refinance existing bonds issued to build the Student Union and make campus improvements.   
 
At its regular meeting Wednesday, Parkland's Board of Trustees approved a proposal from PMA Securities to move forward with a negotiated sale of up to $53.25 million in bonds at lower interest rates, potentially reducing the college's total tax burden by approximately 1.8 percent.
 
For the typical homeowner, this will translate to a savings of $3.33 per year per $100,000 of market value. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles stressed the importance of taking advantage of current market conditions to benefit the community.
 
"While the college is not required to refinance, we are pleased to be able to reduce the tax burden on property owners in our district where we can," Randles said. "As stewards of public dollars, it will be well worth the work our team will put in to make it happen."
 
The board also received a spring enrollment update from the college's new dean of enrollment management, Kristin Smigielski. Smigielski shared that Parkland's spring 2018 enrollment was flat compared to spring enrollment the previous year, a welcome leveling off amidst national community college enrollment declines of 2 percent for the same term. Notably, dual credit enrollment from local high school students increased by approximately 23 percent from 2017 to 2018.
 
The Trustees also heard report on the Broadlands Wind Farm project, with no action taken.
 
In other business, trustees approved the following:

  • Hendrick Dorms, Inc. of Urbana as the new food service provider for Parkland College beginning Aug. 1, under a five-year contract. The contract allows Hendrick Dorms to operate on campus with no revenue sharing for the first school year and negotiated revenue sharing in subsequent years. Parkland College will provide the food serving and preparation areas to Hendrick Dorms at no cost. Hendrick Dorms is replacing Chartwell's Dining Services, which decided not to renew its food service contract with the college.

  • the Amendment to Lease Agreement that will extend the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission's lease in the Illinois Worknet Center at Parkland on Mattis through June 30, 2023. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides funding through the CCRPC to help adults, dislocated workers, and youth within the region obtain career training in high-growth, in-demand industries.

  • $48,000 in engine repair services from Poplar Grove Airmotive, Inc., Poplar Grove, Ill.

  • the employment contract of Tracy Wahlfeldt as executive director of the Parkland College Foundation, effective June 26, 2018, through June 30, 2021.

  • personnel appointments:

    • Brook Van Gundy, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation

    • Judith Somers, Nursing Tenure-Track Faculty, Health Professions

    • Joseph Jessee, Groundskeeper, Physical Plant

    • Marvin Palmer, Custodian, Physical Plant

    • John Strack, Carpenter, Physical Plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diverse Students Win Faculty-Created Writer's Competition

Students win Diana McDonald Writer's Challenge awards of $500 each

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Four Parkland College students recently earned prizes in an annual writing competition created by a retired faculty member.
 
Winning Diana McDonald Writer's Challenge awards of $500 each for their essays were Kennedy Coffie of Chicago for "Mastering Language"; Sami Issa of Syria for "Moving Up the Ladder"; Kaitlyn Marsh of Weldon, Illinois, for "A Necessary Evil"; and Elie Ngandu of the Republic of Congo for "America's Immigrant Dream."
 
Parkland English Professor Seth Mendelowitz, who serves as coordinator for the contest, said the competition usually awards one or two winners each year but that this year was special due to the strength and diversity of the submissions.
 
"Our winners ranged from a student temporarily living here during conflicts in his home country to a student from a small town in rural Illinois," he said. "Given evidence of excessive time spent by young people with more clipped forms of communication (via social media), and given the resultant widespread concern that most young people are not developing their reading and writing skills, it is exciting that we have had such a strong pool of submissions this year."
 
In fall 2011, to foster students' interests in writing, McDonald, a former composition instructor at Parkland, began awarding essays that display a strong sense of voice and unique perspective, written with precise word choice, clear organization, and grammatical and mechanical correctness.
 
According to the contest website, judges look for essays that "connect the writer's experiences, insights, and observations to larger ongoing conversations about the world—about politics, philosophy, science, media, justice, family, race, happiness, the environment, or some other important component of our culture and/or world." Mendelowitz said this year's judges regretted not awarding several other submissions that also displayed originality, interesting life experiences, and clear writing.
 
Students taking a Humanities department course may submit essays for the McDonald Writer's Challenge. Faculty judges select a winner near the end of May. Besides a cash award, the winning essay is also published on SPARK, Parkland's online academic repository. SPARK now includes the new winning essays:

  • Mastering Language: Coffie’s essay offers thoughtful reflections on her journeys between different English language communities, demonstrating how our way of speaking can tie us to a community and sense of communal identity, while shutting us off from other communities and identities. https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/8/
  • Moving Up the Ladder: Having made the U.S. his temporary home due to civil war in Syria, Issa details his fears and confusions at his job due to his rudimentary English skills as well as the strategies he employed to overcome his fears and improve his speaking and comprehension. https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/7/
  • A Necessary Evil: In this well-researched essay, Kaitlyn Marsh offers a balanced analysis of the effects of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Illnesses (DSM), which has promoted humane and consistent treatment of people with mental illness, while also enabling "big pharma" to generate a dramatic increase in the numbers of Americans being diagnosed with and medicated for mental illness.  https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/6/
  • America's Immigrant Dream: An immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ngandu acknowledges sympathy for Americans who come from a line of long-oppressed forebearers while describing the contrasting perception and experience of many immigrants, including himself, for whom the U.S. is a land of opportunity.  https://spark.parkland.edu/mcdonald_award/5/
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