Veterans Center

 
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Welcome, U.S. Veterans, Servicemembers, Spouses and Dependents:

The Parkland College district is home to roughly 16,000 veterans. Parkland is 343rd in the nation out of more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the number of veterans who receive Federal education benefits. We are committed to providing veterans with a successful educational experience. Listed below are programs and services available to veterans, active duty military personnel and their families.

Look here for services you may need to receive federal and state Veterans Administration benefits, enroll at Parkland College, and navigate the college experience. Be sure to contact us if you need further assistance. May you enjoy great success in your postsecondary scholastic pursuits.

   --Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Services

Admissions

The Office of Admissions and Records is available by walk-ins or appointments in room A184. For more information, contact Lori Sprague, Assistant, by phone at 217/351-2489 or by email at lsprague@parkland.edu.

  • Military transcripts - In order to have your military transcripts evaluated, you must complete a request form for your branch of service with the transcripts being sent to Dennis Kaczor in the Office of Admissions and Records. You can contact him by phone at 217/353-2634 or by email at dkaczor@parkland.edu. If you need assistance in locating the request form, contact Kristina Taylor in the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services by phone at 217/351-2228 or by email at ktaylor@parkland.edu. Be aware that having your military transcripts evaluated for credit may impact financial aid eligibility.
  • Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) - This Army, Navy, and Air Force program is available to Parkland students in collaboration with the University of Illinois. Interested students should contact the U of I ROTC instructor at 217/333-1000 or Jennifer Harbaugh in Parkland’s Office of Admissions and Records by phone at 217/353-2636 or by email at jharbaugh@parkland.edu. ROTC requires a four year minimum commitment. Students register for the military science course at Parkland and pay Parkland tuition.
  • Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) - Parkland College is a Servicemembers Opportunity College member. Colleges and Universities participating in SOC agree to remove obstacles in higher education for persons serving in the military.
  • Concurrent Application (CONAP) - This program allows recruits to the U.S. Army to be admitted into Parkland College at the time of entry into the Army. Under CONAP, students will be committed to the graduation criteria of the catalog of the year in which they are admitted regardless of the date of enrollment. Students also have the option to graduate under the requirements of any subsequent catalog.

- 350 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 365
- In 10 years we anticpate that number to be 380

 
Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services
The Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services is located in room A170. Walk-in appointments are available. For more information, contact Kristina Taylor, Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services, at 217/351-2228 or by email at veterans@parkland.edu.
 
  • The Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services will help you file the appropriate forms to process your educational benefit claims with the Federal Veterans Administration (VA), the State of Illinois Veterans Administration, Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and the Department of Education. We are also available to answer questions about veterans’ benefits and financial aid, and direct you to college support services that will help you succeed in college courses. We process the following benefits:
    • State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP)
    • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    • Federal Work Study (FWS)
    • Federal Pell Grant
    • Federal Direct Subsidized loans
    • Federal Direct Unsubsidized loans
    • Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) loans
    • Alternative loans
    • Scholarships
    • All Federal VA benefits, including CH33, CH30, CH35, CH31, CH1606, CH1607
    • All State of Illinois VA benefits, including Illinois Veterans Grant (IVG), Illinois National Guard Grant (ING), and MIA/POW scholarship.
  • For more information on these educational awards, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services by phone at 217/351-2228 or by email at veterans@parkland.edu.
  • We provide an individual orientation to all veterans using their VA educational benefits at Parkland College for the first time.
  • Our veterans and military personnel student services coordinator, Kristina Taylor, is available to assist you or refer you to the appropriate resource for any questions you may have in regard to your education. You can contact her by phone at 217/351-2228 or by email at ktaylor@parkland.edu.
  • Money management and budgeting counseling is also available to all of our students. If you need assistance in this area, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services by phone at 217/351-2228 or by email at veterans@parkland.edu.

Veterans Tutorial Assistance

If you are eligible for education benefits and you need help in a subject, you can get supplemental payments for tutorial assistance. The subject must be necessary for the completion of your approved program. You must be training at one-half time or more in a post-secondary program at an educational institution. You can get tutorial assistance for a course you are passing if your grade will not be credited toward completion of your program.

The VA will pay up to $100 per month for your tutorial assistance. The tutorial assistance you get will be in addition to your regular monthly education benefits for going to school. The limit for tutorial assistance is 12 times the maximum monthly rate of $100 (i.e., $1,200).

If you are training under Chapter 30, 32, 1606, VA will not charge entitlement for your first $600 of tutorial assistance. For tutorial assistance over $600, VA will charge one month of entitlement whenever you receive an amount equal to the full time monthly rate for going to school.

If you are training under Chapter 35, VA will not charge you any entitlement when you get tutorial assistance.

- 350 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 365
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 380

 
Office of Disability Services

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) works in partnership with the greater college community to facilitate equal access for students with disabilities to the educational programs, services and activities of Parkland College in accordance with federal law. Services are available by walk-in or appointments in room X148. For more information, contact Cathy Robinson, Coordinator, by phone at 217/353-2082 or email at crobinson@parkland.edu.

Accommodation requests and eligibility

Students who wish to request academic adjustments/accommodations or auxiliary aids may do so by submitting proper documentation to the Office of Disability Services. Eligible students may receive one or more of the following:

  • alternate testing arrangements
  • textbooks in alternate formats
  • sign language interpreters
  • special classroom seating
  • equipment
  • note takers
  • interpreters
  • TTY or Sorenson videophone
  • Assistive Technology Lab

Checklist for new students

Request an accommodation by completing the following steps:

  • Present documentation: Contact Disability Services and provide documentation of your disability. For more information about Parkland's documentation requirements, please refer to the documentation requirements on pages 10-11 of the Handbook for Students with Disabilities.
    A Disability Services staff member will review your documentation to determine if you are eligible for accommodations. Please note that documentation is reviewed weekly and must be on file before accommodations will be implemented.
  • Schedule an intake session with Disability Services staff: Be prepared to discuss your functional limitations and how they impact your learning.
  • Complete the Compass Assessment in Disability Services.
  • Complete the New Student Online Orientation: Go to www.parkland.edu/getconnected. The orientation takes about 30 minutes to complete. Print out your certificate of completion and take it with you to your advising session.
  • Meet with an academic advisor or counselor: You must bring along your certificate of completion from the online orientation.
  • Register for classes: You may register either online or in person at the Office of Admissions and Records counter (A167).
  • Complete a Semester Plan with ODS staff: An Disability Services staff member will work together with you to create a Semester Plan for accommodations. Accommodation memos will be generated and sent via email to your instructors according to your Semester Plan. Be sure to hold a private conversation with each of your instructors to discuss your accommodation needs. If concerns arise, do not hesitate to contact the ODS to discuss the matter.

- 15 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 19
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 24  

 
Business Office

The Business Office is the point of contact for billable scholarships and for paying your tuition. Services are available on a walk-in basis in room A108 or by phone at 217/351-2233.

  • Military Voluntary Education Tuition Assistance program (Federal Tuition Assistance) - Active Duty military and Reservists may be eligible for Federal Tuition Assistance. For assistance in this process, contact Dianne Kessinger by phone at 217/351-2420 or by email at dkesssinger@parkland.edu.
  • Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) - The Department of Defense’s expanded Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program is offering up to $4,000 to military spouses who are interested in pursuing two-year degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to careers in high-growth, high-demand portable career fields. MyCAA financial assistance pays for expenses such as post-secondary education and training, tuition, licensing, and credentialing fees. Spouses of active duty members and activated members of the National Guard and Reserve components are eligible. Eligible spouses who are ready to explore portable careers options and develop a career goal and plan should establish a MyCAA Account by visiting the MyCAA website https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa. Once spouse profile information is provided, DOD will verify MyCAA eligibility through DEERS. The spouse and Parkland will be notified of his/her eligibility status through the MyCAA messaging system. For assistance with this, contact Deb Hall, Accounts Receivable, by phone at 217/351-2362 or by email at dhall@parkland.edu.

- 350 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 365
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 380  

 
Counseling and Advising Center

The Counseling and Advising Center is available to assist with a variety of needs. Academic advisors are available to assist with selecting a major and creating an educational plan, and counselors can provide personal counseling services for issues that you may be facing. Services are available by walk-in or appointments in room A251. Online advising is also available for students who have earned thirty hours or more. You can learn more about online advising at http://online.parkland.edu/index.cfm?page=advisor. For more information, contact Patti Arthur, Assistant, at 217/351-2219 or by email at parthur@parkland.edu.

  • A team of academic advisors has been specifically trained to understand which classes will be acceptable for you to take when receiving Federal VA Education benefits. These advisors complete audits on your classes each semester to make sure that you are on track to earn your degree. The following advisors are designated as academic “veterans advisors”:
    • Dennis Cockrum - verifies students’ schedules with last names beginning with the letters A-E. He can be contacted by phone at 217/353-2254 or by email at dcockrum@parkland.edu.
    • Carrie Harris - verifies student’s schedules with last names beginning with the letters F-L. She can be contacted by phone at 217/353-2645 or by email at charris@parkland.edu.
    • John Sheahan - verifies students’ schedules with last names beginning with the letters M-R. He can be contacted by phone at 217/351-2555 or by email at jsheahan@parkland.edu.
    • Greg Square - verifies students’ schedules with last names beginning with the letters S-Z. He can be contacted by phone at 217/351-2585 or by email at gsquare@parkland.edu.
  • Personal counseling is available free of charge to those in need. Dennis Cockrum, Counselor, is knowledgeable on veterans issues as well as disability concerns, family issues, grief and loss, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, low self-esteem, and relationship concerns, among others. He can be contacted for an appointment by phone at 217/353-2254 or email at dcockrum@parkland.edu.

- 350 veterans were served in the Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 365
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 380  

 
Career Center

The Career Center is available by walk-in or appointments in room A177. For more information, contact Mary Anne Tiedemann, Career Specialist, by phone at 217/351-2412 or email at mtiedemann@parkland.edu.

Individual Job Search Counseling:

  • Constructing a well-written resumé targeted to a specific position/business/industry.
  • Composing a cover letter (aka “letter of interest”) giving a brief introduction regarding the skills, abilities, experience, education that qualify you for the position.
  • Job interview preparation with typical questions and suggested answers, responding to illegal questions, questions about a disability.
  • A portfolio with examples of completed projects, letters of recommendation, certificates of achievement, awards, organizations, information about previous jobs, salary history.
  • Identifying a network of professionals, people in the workforce who can assist with the job search.
  • Where to find jobs (internet, company website, etc.)

Veterans may need specific assistance with:

  • Assessing any changes that have occurred that could impact a career choice (injuries sustained, disabilities, career ideas before military service vs. after military service, new skills that are relevant to a civilian career.
  • Developing the resumé, letter, portfolio to appeal to a civilian employer, this is usually the most difficult part of the job search (removing military jargon, acronyms, phrases that don’t mean anything to a civilian employer).
  • Explaining the value of skills learned in the military to a civilian job, what made you good at your job in the military? Example: sharpshooter - in addition to being an expert with a rifle, a sharpshooter needs to have strong attention to detail, excellent observation skills, functions well under pressure.
  • Developing positive examples, or stories, to illustrate the skills and strengths used/learned that will help when answering situational questions in an interview; stories that illustrate challenges that were overcome are ideal and military service presents many challenges.
  • Identifying challenges: interpersonal, geographical, conditional.

Assessments offered:

  • Career Ability Placement (CAPS)
  • Myers Briggs Type Inventory
  • Strong Interest Inventory
  • Harrington O’ Shea Interest Inventory

- 18 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 19
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 20  

 
TRiO Student Support Services

A TRIO/SSS participant receives support services aimed at promoting academic and personal development. Services are available by walk-in or appointment in room A244. For more information on the TRiO program, contact Mary Catherine Denmark, Director, by phone at 217/353-2266 or by email at mdenmark@parkland.edu.

  • 10% of available grant money is set aside for eligible veterans.
  • The services offered include:
    • Individualized tutoring
    • Cultural activities
    • Four-year college visits
    • Equipment lending program (includes laptop computers, graphing calculators, micro cassette recorders, and USB thumb drives)
    • Multipurpose room for studying or tutoring, 5 computers with free limited printing, and reference books
    • Personalized skill building workshops
    • Student leadership opportunities
    • Peer mentoring program
    • Scholarship

- 20 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 21
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 22  

 
Student Veterans Association at Parkland (SVAP)

The Student Veterans Association at Parkland (SVAP) is a student-led organization committed to fostering a veteran friendly climate on campus. This organization is open to all interested individuals, with officer positions being reserved for veterans or active duty military personnel. SVAP meets every Tuesday in room X150 from 12:00pm-1:00pm. For more information, you can contact the staff advisor, Kristina Taylor, by phone at 217/351-2228 or by email at ktaylor@parkland.edu.

  • SVAP organizes and presents the college’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the college center.
  • Provides a free lunch the first Tuesday of every month for all attendees at the meeting.
  • Provides camaraderie and a feeling of connectedness for veterans and active duty military personnel considering the unique nature of their experiences.
  • Provides advocacy, support, social, and recreational activities.

- 111 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 116
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 121  

 
Veterans Task Force

Veteran specialists from each of the key departments of student services plus a member of the Student Veterans Association at Parkland and a faculty member meet regularly to discuss veterans’ issues with navigating and accessing college services, and how staff and systems can better respond. For more information or to suggest ways to improve college resources or accessibility, you can contact Kristina Taylor by phone at 217/351-2228 or by email at ktaylor@parkland.edu.

- 350 veterans were served in Fall 2009
- In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 365
- In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 380  

 
Center for Academic Success (CAS)

The Center for Academic Success is available for walk-ins in room D120. For more information contact Anita Taylor, Assistant, by phone at 217/353-2005 or by email at: CenterForAcademicSuccess@Parkland.edu.

The Center for Academic Success provides a range of academic support services to enable you to learn well, grow as a student, succeed in your classes, and excel at what you do. These services include the following:

  • Tutoring and Learning Assistance: Make use of walk-in tutoring services provided by faculty, staff, and trained peer tutors, Monday through Friday. Many students come to get help in reading, writing, math (all levels), and many other subjects. We also provide study skills advice.
  • For-credit Instructional Modules and Supplemental Tutorials: Enroll in one-credit hour tutorials to supplement classroom instruction in reading, writing, ESL, math, chemistry, and study skills. Modules are available to eligible students to complete certain developmental coursework requirements.
  • Advising and Advocacy: Work with our team of advocates and academic advisor to plan a semester schedule, understand transfer requirements, or manage issues that stand in the way of school.

-54 veterans were served in fall of 2009 with an average number of 8 visits each lasting 70 minutes
-In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 57
-In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 60  

 
Distance and Virtual Learning (DVL)

The Distance and Virtual Learning department is available for walk-ins in room D106. For more information contact Lori Wendt, Online Support Specialist, by phone at 217/353-2012 or by email at lwendt@parkland.edu

The Distance and Virtual Learning department provides assistance with technical issues relating to your online classes.

Parkland College has been specifically accredited for offering online courses since 2001. According to the North Central Association, our accrediting body, "The institution has had outstanding success with distance education . . . all distance education students know whatever they need to know to be successful in their classes. They have access to their instructors, to counseling, to services, and to each other."

-151 veterans were served in fall 2009
-In 5 years we anticipate that number to be 159
-In 10 years we anticipate that number to be 167  

 
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is an ongoing learning system that facilitates and enhances quality teaching, student learning, and excellence in the workplace. It empowers professionals to address challenges while fostering the scholarship of teaching and student service.

  • The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) provides professional development workshops for faculty and staff. These workshops include sessions aimed at helping faculty and staff understand the unique needs of student veterans and military members.

Did You Know?

Parkland's adult and continuing education program offers credit and noncredit courses that meet the needs of special populations within our district, such as teachers, businesspersons, retirees, and K-12 students.

 
 

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2400 West Bradley Ave | Champaign, IL 61821 | 217.351.2200 | 800.346.8089
The Mission of Parkland College is to engage the community in learning.