The Parkland College Blog

Betsy's Bistro at Parkland: Grand Opening Sept. 10

New cafe to feature specialty menu items, incorporate area food producers

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Parkland College announces the grand opening of its new cafe, Betsy's Bistro at Parkland, Monday, Sept. 10, starting at 7:30 a.m. in the Student Union cafeteria.

Special menu items for its first day of operation will include breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, fresh-made doughnuts and fresh-ground specialty coffees for breakfast, with burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, wood-fired pizza, wraps and a salad and noodle bar for lunch, according to Doug Richter, executive chef for the Parkland campus cafe.

Hours of operation for Betsy's Bistro at Parkland are 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m., Monday through Friday. The cafe will offer made-to-order breakfasts, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and wraps; a salad and noodle bar; wood-fired pizza, grab-and-go items including sushi; cold-brew and nitro coffee; and a "comfort food" station featuring global foods. It will also incorporate local partners such as Ye Olde Donut Shoppe, Homer Soda Company, Piemonte Sausage, Central Illinois Produce and Columbia Street Roastery in its menu offerings. Prices will range from $3 to $10.

Parkland College trustees approved Urbana campus foodservice provider Hendrick House Dorms as Betsy's Bistro at Parkland under a five-year contract in July. With its focus on freshly prepared food using local ingredients whenever possible, Hendrick House has served as a campus residence and food option to University of Illinois students for 70 years.

Men's Basketball Releases 2018-19 Schedule

Cobras' home opener set for Nov. 7

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Parkland Men's Basketball Head Coach Anthony Figueroa announced the 2018-19 schedule on Friday afternoon. Coming off a 23-6 overall record in 2017-18, the Cobras begin the season Oct. 7 with the first of three exhibition contests.

The Cobras will open the regular season on Nov. 2 at the Greyhound Classic, while the team's home debut is slated for Nov. 7. 

In total, Parkland will host 14 games at the Donald C. Dodds Jr. Athletic Center, including Mid-West Athletic Conference matchups against Danville (Jan. 26), Lincoln Land (Jan. 30), John Wood (Feb. 2) and Illinois Central (Feb. 27). The Cobras finished 5-3 in the conference last season. 

Full Schedule | Schedule PDF

Oct. 7 TBA DACC Jamboree Danville, IL
Oct. 14 TBA Vincennes Jamboree Vincennes, IN
Oct. 27 TBA Olney Scrimmage Olney, IL
Nov. 2 5:00 PM Greyhound Classic West Memphis, AR
Nov. 3 2:00 PM Greyhound Classic West Memphis, AR
Nov. 7 7:00 PM Illinois Wesleyan JV Parkland College
Nov. 10 2:00 PM Lansing Lansing, MI
Nov. 13 7:30 PM Illinois Valley Oglesby, IL
Nov. 17 1:00 PM Lake Land Mattoon, IL
Nov. 20 7:00 PM Indiana Elite Prep Parkland College
Nov. 26 7:00 PM Rend Lake Ina, IL
Nov. 29 6:30 PM Gateway Prep Parkland College
Dec. 2 12:00 PM St. Louis St. Louis, MO
Dec. 5 7:30 PM Rend Lake Parkland College
Dec. 8 4:00 PM Daley Parkland College
Dec. 15 3:00 PM Morton Parkland College
Dec. 17 7:00 PM SE Iowa Burlington, IA
Jan. 8 7:00 PM Kankakee Parkland College
Jan. 10 6:00 PM Lincoln College JV Parkland College
Jan. 17 7:00 PM Malcolm X Chicago, IL
Jan. 21 7:00 PM Illinois Wesleyan JV Parkland College
Jan. 26 3:00 PM Danville Parkland College
Jan. 30 7:30 PM Lincoln Land Parkland College
Feb. 2 3:00 PM John Wood Parkland College
Feb. 6 7:30 PM Illinois Central East Peoria, IL
Feb. 11 7:00 PM Wabash Valley JV Parkland College
Feb. 16 3:00 PM Danville Danville, IL
Feb. 20 7:30 PM Lincoln Land Springfield, IL
Feb. 23 3:00 PM John Wood Quincy, IL
Feb. 27 7:30 PM Illinois Central Parkland College
March 6 TBA Region 24 TBA
March 8-9 TBA Region 24 East Peoria, IL
[Article by Chad Beyler]

Language Class to Transition Immigrants into Health Careers

New ECNA students to grasp nuances in patient symptom descriptions, medical language

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Patients often say they have to go to the toilet using terms a nonnative English-speaking caregiver might not recognize. But locally, one Parkland College professor is helping new English learners grasp the nuances of medical language in a free class debuting this fall.
"An 85-year-old may say one thing for urination; a five-year-old will say another," explained Christina Havenland, who leads the new English for Certified Nursing Assistants class being offered through Parkland's Adult Education department. "A tough old military vet may use another, less polite, word, while a church secretary may have yet another very euphemistic word! An immigrant CNA needs to know the whole range of language they would encounter on the job."
Language comprehension is even more crucial when discussing symptoms, added Havenland, a Humanities associate professor who teaches reading. For example, nearly 80 phrases can be used to describe pain, phrases one might find on the McGill University Pain Questionnaire.
"If a patient says she feels a 'nagging tenderness,' a medical professional without sufficient language training could misunderstand either the relatively rare word "nagging," or could misunderstand "tenderness" as being a positive emotion instead of a type of physical soreness," she said.
Funded through a federal English language education grant and the Illinois Community College Board, the ECNA course has been designed to smooth the path for English language learners desiring to enter the healthcare profession. Enrollees receive 96 hours of training in the culture and language skills they need for success in Parkland's regular Certified Nursing Assistant course. Once they attain their industry-recognized credential, students can then work in the community as a CNA while pursuing other careers.
Havenland said the program also helps combat the nationwide shortage of certified nursing assistants by allowing immigrants to more quickly practice medical skills they may already have acquired in their home countries.
"Some of these adult learners are already professionals with degrees and credentials in their native countries," she said. "Completing the regular CNA course serves as an entry point for them to pursue more advanced nursing credentials offered by Parkland, such as our Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) and Registered Nursing (RN) degrees."
For more information on the ECNA program, contact Parkland College Adult Education at 217/351-2580.
In Fiscal Year 2019 (FY '19), approximately 40% ($161,595) of the total cost of the Parkland College Adult Education and Family Literacy Program is provided through federal funds under Title II of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

CTE Career Exploration Night, Sept. 5

High school, Parkland students can chat with employers, get info on hands-on tech careers

  • Anonym |
  • 0

Parkland College will host a night for students to explore hands-on technical careers Sept. 5.

Career Exploration Night, sponsored by the school's Career and Technical Education division, will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Parkhill Applied Technology Center on the main campus.

High school students and their families as well as current Parkland students are invited to meet employers, get expert advice on a career path, learn how to make a great first impression, and tour high-tech learning labs. Career opportunities in horticulture, automotive, collision repair, diesel power, construction management, industrial technology, and electronics programs will be discussed. Participants can chat with employers about internship opportunities and career tracks in their industries.

To RSVP for this event, visit

New Show, Digital System to Debut in Planetarium Opener

"Experience the Aurora" to feature dramatic fulldome images from new Digistar 6

  • Anonym |
  • 0

After a month's closure, the William M. Staerkel Planetarium will reopen to public audiences on the Sept. 7-8 weekend with a new operating system and a new fulldome show.

"Experience the Aurora," featuring fulldome, time-lapse imagery of the Northern Lights, will premiere Sept. 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. and run every Friday and Saturday night through October. The show will be presented on Staerkel's Digistar 6 operating system, an upgrade from the Digistar 4 system installed eight years ago. The planetarium has been closed since Aug. 8 to install the new system. 

Winner of two Telly Awards for video production,"Experience the Aurora" shares the science behind the aurora and tells the story of the quest to find and photograph the aurora. Its dramatic images involve high-resolution digital cameras outfitted with fisheye lenses. For the first time, the aurora has been captured as it was meant to be experienced, an immersive display covering the entire sky, according to Dave Leake, director of the planetarium.  

"Though computer visualizations are quite wonderful these days, we were intrigued that this show includes fisheye photography of this beautiful phenomenon," Leake remarked. "We hope audiences will be as amazed as we were!"

Leake explained that the Digistar 6 system contains new features that will be both visible and "under the hood." Tools such as auto-align and auto-blend will drastically reduce maintenance time by aligning projectors with the push of a button. Other D6 benefits for planetarium staff include a cloud-sourced STEAM library, a new NOAA Earth database, and a revised user interface. Audiences will be able to view various terrains including Earth and Mars as well as a volumetric Milky Way (i.e., shown more as a physical model than as a flat image).  

“We have a lot to learn before we reopen; our show producer, Waylena McCully, is busy converting many of our older shows to the new format," Leake said. "We're exited about having a new star field and other features to show off this season.”  

Funding for the upgrade comes from the Parkland Foundation, the Planetarium Revolving Fund and the Campus Master Plan. For a full schedule of fall 2018 planetarium programs, visit or call the show hotline at 217/351-2446.