Parkland College Approves New Career Program Degree, Certificates

Parkland College Approves New Career Program Degree, Certificates

Parkland College officials approved curricula for three new career credentials and learned more about a new student start-up cohort coming this spring.

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At its regular meeting Wednesday, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved the school’s new Advanced Unmanned Aircraft Systems certificate, the Agriculture Retail Operations certificate, and the Advanced Applicator Technician AAS degree. The programs will go through a final review for approval with the Illinois Community College Board and, in the case of the AAS degree, Illinois Board of Higher Education in the new year.

  • The nine-credit-hour Advanced UAS certificate course capitalizes on a field seeing significant growth and sector diversification; drone operations affect defense, precision agriculture, remote sensing, journalism, municipal police and fire, real estate, and other industries. Parkland’s Institute of Aviation offered its debut UAS certificate this fall and is using National Science Foundation grant funds to increase this valuable training. Building on the current certificate, the Advanced UAS certificate course will prepare aviation and UAS students with specific skills in drone data collection, improving employment as commercial UAS operators.
  • The Agriculture Retail Operations certificate and its parent program, Advanced Applicator Technician AAS, are a part of the planned Midwest Center for Precision Agriculture at Parkland College, and were developed in response to the need of retail agribusiness leaders within the precision agriculture sector. The AAS program will prepare students for careers as advanced applicator technicians. Graduates will be proficient in basic agronomic skills, operating applicator equipment, and applying applicator procedures in accordance with Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency regulations. The certificate program will prepare students in inventory management, agribusiness-related computer applications, as well as the basic agronomic and computational skills required in day-to-day operations at retail facilities.

Stephanie Stuart, Parkland College’s vice president for communications and external affairs, gave a status report on the new CobraVenture student entrepreneur cohort. Eleven current Parkland students representing a variety of academic disciplines were selected to participate in the program debuting next month.

Trustees also approved the following:

  • purchase of a flight training device from Frasca International, Inc., Urbana, for $335,000. The purchase of the Frasca Piper Archer AATD flight simulator will provide the training platform needed to adjust to ongoing aircraft upgrades and will more economically train flight instructors on new aircraft equipment.
  • personnel appointments:
    • Julia Hawthorne, Director of TRiO/Student Support Services, Student Services
    • Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, Student Services
    • Jacob Walwer, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation
    • Justin Jacobson, Certified Flight Instructor, Institute of Aviation
    • Jonathan Goebel, Head Coach/Fitness Center Director, Athletics
    • Stephanie Manuel, Nursing Adjunct Faculty, Health Professions
    • Maret Matthew, International Student Services Advisor, Admissions
    • Katie Raisner, TRiO/Student Support Services Advisor, Student Services

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