|Type||Public community college|
|President||Thomas R. Ramage, Ed.D.|
|Colors||Green and Gold|
Mid-West Athletic Conference
Parkland College is a public community college in Champaign, Illinois. It is part of the Illinois Community College System serving Community College District 505 which includes parts of Coles, Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, Moultrie, McLean, Piatt, and Vermilion Counties. Parkland College enrolls approximately 18,000 students annually.
William M. Staerkel Planetarium is located at Parkland College.
Located at 2400 W. Bradley Avenue in the city's northwest corner, Parkland's 255-acre main campus is centrally accessible to the 54 communities it serves. It lies in close proximity to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Its off-campus locations for instruction include Parkland College on Mattis at 1307-1319 N. Mattis Avenue Champaign, and The Institue of Aviation at Willard Airport in Savoy.
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.
Parkland College confers the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts, Associate in Engineering Science, Associate in Applied Science, and Associate in General Studies degrees.
Today, approximately 18,000 students enroll in Parkland College credit and noncredit courses annually. More than 100 degree and certificate programs of study are available, leading students to career and job placement or to educational transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Students also take advantage of Parkland's distance education in the form of online courses and interactive telecourses.
Parkland provides numerous academic support services and resources for students. Its Center for Academic Success (CAS), a unified learning assistance center, offers peer tutoring, a writing lab, tutoring by math faculty, an academic development lab for focusing on pre-college-level coursework, developmental learning modules, and study skills tutorials. The Parkland College library holds a collection of over 120,000 volumes; its materials include college curricular/academic program needs as well as the personal enrichment and lifelong learning needs of the college community. In conjunction with the college's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the Library also administers SPARK: Scholarship at Parkland, the school's digital institutional repository.
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.
More than 40 campus clubs and organizations at Parkland provide students with opportunities for volunteerism, leadership development, and camaraderie. While many of these are organized based on academic fields, such as the French Club, Parkland Motorsports, and the Pre-Law Club, diversity is rich among the established clubs, with groups among them such as Alpha Phi Omega, International Students Association, Japanese Culture Club, Black Student Association, Brother to Brother, Club Latino, Muslim Student Association, Parkland Christian Fellowship, and Parkland Pride! (LGBTQ support group).
Parkland students also take part in extramural team sports under the mascot Cobras, including baseball, softball, volleyball, men's and women’s basketball, golf, men's and women's soccer, cheerleading, and dance. A Division II (Division I Soccer) member of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association, the Parkland Cobras mark the following accomplishments:
- NJCAA Baseball Champions, 2009 and 2002
- NJCAA Women's Volleyball Champions, 2016, 2015 and 1999
- NJCAA Men's Basketball Champions, 1986
- NJCAA National Tournament Qualifiers since 2006: Baseball, Golf, Softball, Volleyball, Women's Basketball, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer
- Juan Acevedo – Major League Baseball player
- Bonnie Blair – Five-time U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist, Speedskating
- Mark Carlson – Major League Baseball umpire
- Shane Heams – U.S. Olympian, Baseball (2000)
- Kevin Kiermaier – Tampa Bay Rays outfielder
- David Patrick – Gold Medalist, 400-meter hurdle, IAAF World Cup; U.S. Olympian (1992)
- Spencer Patton-Major League Baseball player
- Kevin Roberson – Major League Baseball player
- Jeremih Felton – R & B singer
- Dan Winkler — Atlanta Braves pitcher