Leadership and service opportunities at Central College give students the opportunity to meet new people, connect to campus, recognize their leadership potential, and clarify personal, academic, and professional goals. Students participating in leadership and service programs at Central College engage in a journey toward personal growth, social responsibility, and building community.

Emerging Leaders Certificate Program

The Emerging Leadership Certificate Program (ELCP) is a co-curricular program that allows each student to design their individual leadership experience based on a menu of program options. ELCP is open to all students: individuals interested in learning more about themselves as a leader, students who are serving in leadership roles within student organizations, and students who are interested in exploring their leadership potential. Through participation in the program, students will broaden knowledge and perspectives on a variety of real-life, current, and social issues; gain a better understanding of themselves, their talents, and their limitations; develop a unique leadership style; and learn to help others hone their skills as leaders. By completing the leadership certificate requirements in Leadership Education, Training, and Development, students will receive the Emerging Leaders Certificate awarded by the Central College President and Dean of Student Life. Sponsored by Student Activities.

Center for Community-Based Learning

The Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) engages students, faculty and community members in sustained partnerships fostering collaborative learning and civic participation in a diverse society. The CCBL provides opportunities for students to engage in service that is connected with academic goals through traditional courses or independent modules. Over forty courses at Central include a service-learning option or requirement, allowing students to explore course knowledge in a real world setting while serving their community. Opportunities also exist for student leaders to serve as Advocates for Community Engagement (ACEs). ACEs act as a liaison between several community agencies and their fellow students, promoting and facilitating community engagement across the campus.

Central Volunteer Center

The Central Volunteer Center (CVC) serves as a clearinghouse of information about community service and volunteer opportunities for students. The CVC is student-led and works to connect Central students with service projects sponsored by organizations in Pella and the surrounding communities that help students to develop a greater sense of belonging in the community and promote life-long community service. Student leaders working in the CVC develop a broad range of skill sets while working with community partners, coordinating student volunteers, and hosting service events on campus. New students are welcome and encouraged to get involved with the CVC either by volunteering with projects that interest them or helping to coordinate and market the many projects available. Sponsored by Student Activities and the Office of Community-Based Learning

Hall Councils

First-year through senior students are eligible to serve on their hall council which is a group that makes decisions for individual residence areas and plans events for their fellow students in those areas. Many new students start out as hall council members before moving into other leadership positions on campus. Hall Council is a great way to get to know more people who live in your area while building skills that help you in college and beyond. Sponsored by Residence Life

Campus Activities Board

The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is a group of students who seek to promote unity within the campus community by providing a variety of experiences to stimulate acceptance and awareness through entertainment. CAB plans a variety of programs for Central College students, alumni, staff, and faculty through eight different programming areas:

  1. Movie/Comedy
  2. Music
  3. Dance/Recreation
  4. Tradition/Spirit (Homecoming)
  5. Lecture/Off-Campus
  6. Publicity
  7. Tech Crew
  8. Co-Presidents.

Through these programming areas, students develop a variety of organizational leadership skills while planning events for the whole campus to enjoy! Sponsored by Student Activities

Student Senate

Student Senators are first-year through senior students elected by the student body to be the voice of students. Senators decide the programs and events on which the student activity fee that all students pay is spent. They also serve on faculty and campus wide committees that make decisions affecting all students. Many students who are active in student government in high school enjoy serving on student senate, although you don’t need to have any prior experience with government to be a senator. Sponsored by Student Life 

SOS Orientation Leaders

SOS Orientation Leaders are sophomore through senior students at Central who work with small groups of incoming students to help them make a smooth transition to Central. They get to know new students individually, lead small group activities and help carry out large events for summer/winter orientation and August Welcome Week. This close-knit group has a blast helping new students find a home with Central! Sponsored by Student Activities

Fraternities and Sororities

The brothers and sisters of the eight social fraternities and sororities that make up Greek Life at Central focus on service and leadership as part of their regular activities. Each fraternity and sorority adopts a philanthropic cause for which to raise funds and awareness amongst fellow students. In doing so, the groups also provide great leadership opportunities through which to build skills for college and life beyond. Any student is eligible to pledge a fraternity or sorority after successfully completely at least one semester at Central. Sponsored by Student Activities

Resident Advisors

Resident Advisors (RAs) are undergraduate members of the Residence Life staff. RAs have the most frequent and direct communication with resident students; therefore, they have an outstanding opportunity to contribute to the development and education of individuals. It is expected that RAs are sincerely interested in and supportive of the welfare of the students at Central College. RAs help students develop to their full potential as a person, a student, and a member of their floor, building, and college community by developing and implementing educational and social programs for students as well as creating and maintaining an environment that is conducive to self-discipline and study. Sponsored by Residence Life.

SUSTAIN

The mission of SUSTAIN is to help build campus-wide community by offering opportunities for people from different areas of the College, especially students, to come together to share ideas, raise awareness, educate ourselves, and coordinate with each other by working on projects and making recommendations for policies and practices to make Central College and the wider world more environmentally sustainable, socially and economically just. Some of SUSTAIN’s ongoing projects include all-campus service day, national teach-in on global warming, greening the athletic program, campus recycling projects, social justice and human rights projects, and many more. SUSTAIN is sponsored by many departments across campus.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program

At its core, entrepreneurship is about identifying a problem and finding a solution for it. Most commonly, this is viewed from a new business startup perspective, but our program doesn't stop there. The problem to be solved could be one that tears at the societal fabric and requires a social entrepreneurial solution. It could be a problem that resides in a corporate setting, requiring an intra-preneurial perspective. It can happen in small companies, large organizations for profit and non-profit. The setting is irrelevant. What's important is that the solution to any problem calls for specific skills, which we have defined as our program outcomes:

When our students possess these abilities, they will be invaluable contributors to their families, organizations, communities and society as a whole. To develop these skills, we utilize a model we call 3E: Education, Example and Experience.

Education - Students will learn practical, modern entrepreneurial approaches to solving problems, both in business and society. This theoretical understanding of entrepreneurship provides the foundation from which students can build upon through personal experiences.

Examples - Students will learn from entrepreneurs through a speaker series, field trips, mentorships, internships and other real-world opportunities.

Experience - Much like skilled artists and athletes, students learn best from deliberate practice. Options include on-campus projects, community-based programs, international options and through internships and work-study options. Opportunities include new business ventures, non-profit ventures, social entrepreneurship, intrapreneurial projects and everything in between.

This is a "learn it, see it, do it" model built into every entrepreneurship class and truly prepares our students for the challenges that await them upon graduation.

Our thanks to Bruce and Sandy Heerema whose generosity made this program possible and through the Martin Heerema Endowment in Entrepreneurship. Established in 2007, the Martin Heerema Endowment in Entrepreneurship memorializes in perpetuity the contributions, life and work of Martin Heerema, a distinguished graduate of Central College. It will serve as a continual reminder of his commitment to advance and promote the entrepreneurial educational program of Central College.

For more information on our Entrepreneurship Program, visit the Program Website.