Established in 1966 as a public community college, Parkland College is located in the Illinois community of Champaign (a town in central-eastern Illinois with a population of approximately 75,000 inhabitants). It is the main community college for District 505, which is the state’s third biggest community college district. The school occupies a total of 233 acres of well maintained grounds at a distance of approximately 2.5 hours by car from the center of Chicago.
Parkland College has an excellent academic offering for a community college. There are more than 100 associate degree and certificate options available that can be directed towards either university transfer, job training, or career purposes. The school has more than 600 faculty members (full- and part-time) and counselors.
The school is divided into nine distinct academic departments, identified as follows: Social Sciences and Human Services, Business and Agri-Industries, Natural Sciences, Computer Science and Information Technology, Mathematics, Engineering Science and Technologies, Humanities, Fine and Applied Arts, and Health Professions.
Parkland College has created a fairly strong reputation for itself in various science-related fields. Among the most popular degrees sought at Parkland College (in terms of degrees awarded in a year in that particular major) are those in the fields of science, liberal arts, medical support and technology, and mechanics and repair. The school offers online learning opportunities which can result in up to an associate degree in such areas as history, psychology, social work, elementary education, or political science.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Parkland College has special service learning and volunteerism programs that will make a student’s study experience significantly richer and expose them to learning and growth opportunities that they simply won’t be able to find in a classroom setting.
The service learning programs are available in a few different fields, such as sociology, construction, computer science and occupational therapy. Participants take advantage of different businesses and operations in the local community or surroundings to gather real, hands-on experience in their area of interest. The volunteer opportunities are principally expounded at the Parkland Volunteer Fair and come in many different forms and with many different focuses.
Furthermore, Parkland College has what are known as cooperative agreements with several other Illinois community colleges which allow students to take occupational courses or programs not offered at Parkland without having to pay more than their regular tuition. The variety of offerings is very extensive and helps to diversify what is already a healthy offering of programs at the school.
In keeping with the social and educational mission of community colleges in general, Parkland College enforces an open admissions policy through which all qualified applicants are admitted to the school. Nonetheless, Parkland College is very clear in pointing out that general admission to the school does not entail acceptance into a particular program or course, which is subject to more stringent criteria including vacancy and proficiency in determined subjects.
Selective admissions programs at Parkland College include the Health Professions programs, for example, which due to their popularity have reduced vacancies and which, due to the prestige they have gained, must retain slightly higher standards.
Student enrollment at Parkland College hovers around the 10,000 mark, and among these considerably more than half are studying on a full-time basis. In-state students constitute almost the entirety of the student body, and the vast majority of students are Caucasian followed by African-Americans as the largest minority.
There is no on-campus housing available at Parkland College, though the school does offer limited services to help students find a housing arrangement in the surrounding Champaign community. Student life is nonetheless quite vibrant, and there are various national fraternities/sororities with chapters at Parkland College among other organizations. A token sampling would include the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, the Phi Theta Kappa (a community college honor society), Rotaract, College Republicans and College Democrats, and the Phi Alpha Chi agricultural club.
Student Enrollment Demographics
The school mascot at Parkland College is the “Cobra,” and the school’s sports colors are green and gold. The men’s teams compete in the sports of baseball, basketball, cheerleading, dance, golf and soccer; the women’s teams compete in basketball, cheerleading, dance, soccer, softball and volleyball. All teams compete in the Mid-West Athletic Conference of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).