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Parkland College is a two-year community college in Champaign, Illinois, a member of the Illinois Community College System serving Community College District 505. District 505 includes all of Ford County, and parts of Coles, Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Iroquois, Livingston, Moultrie, McLean and Vermilion Counties. Parkland College enrolls approximately 18,000 students annually.
William M. Staerkel Planetarium is located at Parkland College.
History and Mission
Bolstered with state support from the Illinois Public Junior College Act of 1965, “Illinois Junior College District 505” was established in March 1966 by a referendum of residents from incorporated and unincorporated areas surrounding Champaign-Urbana. The college was renamed Parkland Community College in 1967 before its first fall semester classes began. William M. Staerkel was Parkland’s first president, serving the college from 1967 to 1987. While the first classes were held at temporary sites in downtown Champaign, the school’s permanent campus opened in fall 1973.
Parkland College has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Higher Learning Commission, since 1972. Its seven-member Board of Trustees is elected by the residents of the district, with each trustee serving a six-year term. The board provides local control and direction for the college, operating in accordance with Parkland’s established Policies and Procedures.
The college lists as its mission “to engage the community in learning.” More information about the college’s history and founding can be found at the Parkland College Archives
Culture and Community
Parkland’s cultural center contains a 320-seat performing arts theater and a 50-foot dome planetarium. The Parkland Theatre, William M. Staerkel Planetarium, and Parkland Art Gallery offer free or affordable performances, programs, and exhibits year-round to campus and community members. Parkland’s radio station is WPCD 88.7 FM and its student-run newspaper is the Prospectus; its educational cable channel, PCTV, airs cultural/educational and classic shows. The college’s state-licensed Child Development Center works with preschoolers and serves community residents and Parkland students, faculty, and staff
Through the use of federal and state grant funds, participants access free, noncredit services for postsecondary completion, college and career readiness, and subsequent career pathway employment.
Don Talleur, Chief Pilot and Interim Director
Prepare for private and commercial pilot certification at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College. Start with us and you’ll be ready to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year school.
DIVISION: CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Bobbi Scholze, Dean
Tawanna Nickens, Assistant Dean
Agriculture/Engineering Science & Technologies
James Mansfield, Faculty Chair
Parkland has the programs you’ll thrive on, from geographic information systems and horticulture to automotive technology and construction. At Parkland, you can earn a certificate or an associate degree while you gain the experience you need through intensive lab work, course projects, and internships that respond to technological advances and industry demand.
Business/Computer Science & Technologies
Derek Dallas, Faculty Chair
We offer vital coursework in business, computer science, and hospitality industries, from accounting and marketing to network administration and web design to culinary arts management. While our certificate programs can give you the skills to enter the workforce or snag that promotion, our degree programs provide the specialized knowledge for you to transfer to a four-year school with ease.
DIVISION: ARTS & SCIENCES
Nancy Sutton, Dean
video iconParkland Report’s Arts & Sciences with Nancy Sutton
video iconWhat’s new in Arts & Sciences 2018
Fine & Applied Arts
Julie Weishar, Faculty Chair
With Parkland’s Fine and Applied Arts programs, you’ll build a strong educational foundation in art, design, music, theatre, or mass communication. At Parkland, you’ll have the option to transfer to a four-year arts program with our Associate in Fine Arts or Arts degree or start your career sooner with an Associate in Applied Science or one of our many certificates.
Matthew Hurt, Faculty Chair
Our classes focus on the liberal arts—composition, reading, religion, philosophy, literature, and more—and are designed to lay the groundwork for future academic and professional success. You’ll be taught by instructors who bring big questions and global perspectives to the classroom. And when it’s time for that bachelor’s degree, our proximity to the University of Illinois offers the opportunity to transfer into some of the world’s best academic programs.
Brian Mercer, Faculty Chair
Parkland’s Mathematics programs are designed to help you master the math courses most appropriate to your career goals. If you don’t have college-level math skills, that’s ok; we’ll help you through developmental courses. Are you already a math whiz, planning to transfer to a four-year school? Our Associate in Science emphasizes scientific and theoretical applications for a smooth, logical transition.
Scott Siechen, Faculty Chair
Apply your curiosity with Parkland’s Natural Sciences programs. You’ll build a strong foundation for the nature and practice of physical and life sciences, with courses in chemistry, physics, astronomy, meteorology, geology, biology, evolution, environmental biology, microbiology, kinesiology, forensic science, and human anatomy and physiology
Social Sciences & Human Services
Joseph Walwik, Faculty Chair
We offer a wide variety of programs that give you a broad social sciences base to build upon, including anthropology, psychology, political science, and sociology. If you’re planning to transfer to a four-year school, our associate’s degrees lay the groundwork for careers in areas like social work and education. If you’d rather start your career sooner, our programs and certificates in fields like child development, criminal justice, and fire service technology incorporate theory and practical field experience, preparinge you for entry-level work upon graduation.
DIVISION: HEALTH PROFESSIONS
Diane Cousert, Assistant Dean
Kim Pankau, Faculty Chair
Demand is booming across the country for nurses, EMTs, radiology techs, dental hygienists, massage therapists, veterinary techs, and more. Our degree and certificate programs are fully accredited and designed to give you leading-edge skills in caring for others, through expert instruction and hands-on training in labs, area clinics, and local hospitals