Black Student SUCCESS Project focuses on out-of-district students
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 17:09
The Black Student SUCCESS Project has been busy educating out-of-district students about party safety and ways to make their experience at Parkland College a success.
On Aug. 30, the Black Student SUCCESS Project scheduled a noon luncheon for the out-of-district students. The students gathered in room D-244 where free lunch and information awaited them.
This out-of-district luncheon provided a way for students to learn more about their community. During the event, Parkland College President Dr. Thomas Ramage dispelled a common misconception.
He informed the students in attendance that if they had expected Champaign to consist of mainly corn and soybeans, that they were mistaken. He took the time to explain that with approximately 25% of students coming from out-of-district areas, that this is a common mistake. He explained that the Champaign Urbana area has a lot more to offer.
In fact, with Parkland College ranking as one of the largest community colleges in Illinois, students are afforded the opportunity to join over 40 organizations.
One of these is the Black Student SUCCESS Project, which is geared towards the African-American population at Parkland.
The group meetings occur sporadically. Although they are held in room D-244, they are not scheduled for any specific time. This benefits the conflicting schedules of its many members, and doesn’t require much of their time. There are no mandatory commitments and the sessions are completely open.
During the luncheon, speakers such as Mary Catherine Denmark, Director of the TRiO Student Services Program and Sandy Spencer, Director of the Career Center, enlightened the group with some helpful tips.
According to Denmark, “The four keys to success at Parkland College are to show up to class, to listen, to keep up and to speak up.” This means students should not only come to class, but also actively participate in discussions. Struggling students should ask for help as soon as possible.
Spencer informed the group of work-study opportunities and the places available to receive help with studies. According to her and Parkland’s website, there is help available to students in the Center for Academic Success, located in room D-120.
Spencer stated, “D-120 provides four areas of service, three of which are free. Free tutoring and learning assistance, free peer tutoring and access to the free academic development lab.”
The only service that costs students anything is the modules. Modules are tutorials which act as a way for students to take a class on the computer and receive credit.
The two speakers were extremely helpful in educating the out-of-district students on ways to succeed at Parkland.
On Thursday, Sept. 6, the Black Student Success Project continued their discussion with the out-of-district students. In room D-105, Officer Yvonne Meyer gave the students some advice pertaining to attending parties.
Meyer did a great job making the students feel comfortable during the discussion. The students respectfully asked a number of questions she responded honestly and openly. After the discussion, the students were treated to free pizza and refreshments.
Engineer Major Levon Stone stated, “I thought the discussion was real; real questions and real answers. I really didn’t know DUI’s included not only the influence of alcohol, but also marijuana.”
When Officer Meyer was asked whether she believes that students are uneducated when it comes to drinking laws, she responded, “Yes I do. I believe that college students are discovering who they are and trying new things. I think every young adult does that. However, students should educate themselves on consequences of their actions so they can make educated choices for themselves.”
The main goal of the discussion on Thursday was to inform the out-of-district students about laws and precautions and to give them advice on how to be prepared for attending parties. More information about the Black Student SUCCESS Project can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Parkland-College-Black-Student-SUCCESS-Project/103296036386722