Questions about Academics

  1. How will I know if my child is on track to graduate in four years?
  2. Who can help my child improve study skills, choose a major, or manage time?
  3. My child hasn't chosen a major yet, is that okay?
  4. Are tutoring services available?
  5. Who helps my child choose classes?
  6. Who is my student's advisor? What are my student's grades?
  7. My child wants to drop or withdraw from a class, what should s/he do?
  8. When are finals and grades issued?

Questions about Residential Life

  1. What is residence hall life like?
  2. Why must my student live on campus?
  3. How should my student choose their roommate?
  4. My student has a question about housing and/or roommates…who should they contact?
  5. Where is the cool place to live on campus?
  6. How does the housing process work?
  7. What comes in the rooms?
  8. What shouldn't my student bring to campus?
  9. Can my student have a pet in their room or house?
  10. What do we do about roommate conflicts?
  11. Where can my student park their car? Where can I park when I come to visit?
  12. What are my student's meal options? Can our family eat on campus when we visit?
  13. Is there a security officer on call 24 hours a day?
  14. Who do I contact about financial aid or my student account?
  15. What is the college alcohol policy?

Questions about Academics

1.How will I know if my student is on track to graduate in four years? Ask your student! Students can compare the courses they have completed to graduation requirements on their WebAdvisor program evaluation. Students can check grades at any time online.

2.Is it okay that my student has not yet chosen a major? Students typically don't declare a major until their sophomore year. The majority of students also change their major at least once.

3.Who can help my student improve study skills, choose a major, or manage time? The Tutoring and Writing Center, your student's professors, and the Career Center can provide individual help with time management, study skills, and choosing a major.

4.Are tutoring services available? Tutoring is available through the Tutoring and Writing Center and from professors and peers in individual classes.

5.Who helps my student choose classes? Students are often their own best advisors by taking advantage of the numerous resources to guide this process. The professor that serves as the student's advisor will help the student choose classes for the next semester. The interactions vary depending on the relationship between student and advisor, but students are required to meet with their advisor to review class selections before the student registers for next semester. Students can also consult with other students in the major, do their own degree audit online, or consult with their academic department. Ultimately, course selection is the responsibility of the student.

6.How does my student access course materials and forms? Students have individual log-in access to Blackboard and WebAdvisor on our internal website: Students can check their schedules, grades, many assignments, and class announcements anytime through this website.

7.What are my student's grades? It is best to ask your child about the status of their grades since this information is protected under the FERPA Act. Unless the student has given prior written consent, the college is unable to release this information to anyone other than the student. If you would like your child to provide consent, they can go to the Central Service Center to sign a release form.

8.My student wants to drop or withdraw from a class, what should s/he do? Students can add or drop classes anytime during the first two weeks of each semester (the add/drop period) without any penalty. They just need to pick up an add/drop form in the Central Service Center and have the faculty member of the course and their advisor sign. Dropping or withdrawing from a class after the add/drop period will result in a "W" being added for that course to the transcript. Your son/daughter should check with their advisor or the class professor should they feel the need to withdraw from a class as falling below full-time student status can affect a student’s financial aid and/or health insurance.

9. When are final grades issued? Grades are available to students electronically through their WebAdvisor account about one week after the end of the semester.

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Questions about Residential Life

1.My student has a question about housing and/or roommates. Who should s/he contact? All students have three points of contact regarding housing and/or roommate questions: their Resident Advisor (RA), their Area Coordinator (AC), and the Director of Residence Life. The Resident Advisor is a carefully selected and trained student who lives on the floor or in/near the house in which your student lives. The Area Coordinator is a full-time professional live in staff member who lives in an apartment/house in the residence hall or area to be accessible and available to help students. The Director oversees the residence life and judicial programs on campus.    

The RA is present to enforce college policies (such as visitation hours, alcohol policy, quiet hours, etc.), to be a friend, a listening ear, to lend a helping hand, to serve as a resource for questions, to help mediate roommate conflicts, and to plan fun, community building and educational events for the students on the floor. Students can go to their RA with questions about classes, grades, professors, roommates, campus activities, room/facilities problems, relationships, etc. RAs undergo complete and extensive training before school starts, as well as throughout the year, covering everything that they may need to know to successfully help and be an asset to the students on their floor. If the RA is unable to answer the question, RAs will refer the student to the correct department or area, or get the student in contact with someone who can answer the question for them.

The Area Coordinator oversees the general operation of the hall. These four staff members are present to care for the safety and well-being of your student, to be a resource for their residents in the building, to help mediate roommate conflicts, to work with housing/facilities issues, to hold students accountable for their actions and work thought the judicial process with them, to supervise the Resident Advisors in the building, to advise the Hall Council, and to help plan activities for the building. Your student can visit their Area Coordinator for a multitude of reasons—roommate problems, room/facilities concerns, questions about campus resources, for help with the housing process, if they're in need of a listening ear or just to chat!

2.What is residence hall life like? Students find residence hall life to be exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating all at the same time. There are always lots of activities happening and how cool is it that you get to live with your friends 24/7! Students must learn to get along with all types of people. Students must learn to take care of themselves—from doing their laundry to making sure they get enough sleep. Their sense of privacy may feel invaded as many of them have had their own rooms and now must share a room with a roommate. Overall, the experience should feel like a home away from home. The residence life staff (RA, AC, and Director) strive to make this experience the best possible one for your student.

3. Why must my student live on campus? Central has a residency requirement. We believe, and research supports, that the development of the mind, body and spirit requires immersion in a learning community where faculty, staff, upper-class mentors and peers guide intentional experiences. Moreover, it facilitates a transition to interdependence. High school students yearn to "be on their own." Residential living provides the challenges of being on your own with the benefits of a support network. Living on campus is the first step in making a life transition. It is important to allow students to be active leaders in their community and participants in self-governance opportunities. Central students value these opportunities as a part of their learning experience and utilize them to contribute meaningfully to their living environment. Service to others, a core value of Central College, is that we are active and contributing members to our local, national and global community. It is through the residential setting that students learn the process of community service and engagement. Finally, higher retention, academic success and graduate placement are all positive outcomes of residential living. National research indicates that students who live on campus return to the college their sophomore year more frequently than those living off campus. Additionally research indicates that students who live on campus get better grades, have more interaction with faculty and are more likely to attend professional or graduate programs compared to students who live off campus throughout their time in college.

4.How does my student choose his/her roommate? First year students who already know someone who is coming to Central with whom they would like to room may request to live with that person. Those requests will be honored as long as they are mutual. The majority of first year students will be assigned a roommate by Residence Life. Roommate matches are made by hand according to the information your student provided on his/her housing request form. Residence Life attempts to make the best matches possible based on the information students provide about themselves.
Upperclassmen tend to choose a roommate who has similar interests and with whom they share similar lifestyle patterns. For example, a student who is an “early bird,” should try not to choose a “night owl” for a roommate. Additionally, it's best not to live with their “best friend.” Often, roommates get along better if they don't spend every waking moment together or with the same group of friends. This makes it easier to discuss problems, and make plans for cleaning, sleeping, hanging out, etc.
Several questions you can encourage your student to talk with his/her roommate about include:

5.Where is the cool place to live on campus? The answer to this question varies by student. Some students prefer to live in a coeducational environment, so they choose Scholte or Gaass halls. If they prefer to live in a same sex environment, they choose Graham, Pietenpol, or Hoffman Halls. For upperclassmen, the houses and McKee Hall are often a popular choice. The Theme and Intentional Learning houses are also gaining popularity.

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6.How does the housing process work? The housing process is made up of a few different steps. In the spring semester, students will receive announcements and notification of the housing process dates and important housing process information via Central e-mail. Theme and Intentional Learning Houses (specialty housing) are selected first, followed by general room lottery for the townhouses and residence halls.  Students apply in groups or pairs for living unitsand choose their living space for the next academic year by being assigned a random number within their cohort, utilizing a lottery system.  

7.What comes in the rooms? Rooms are furnished with beds, desks, desk chairs, wardrobes/closets and dresser space. Each room is also equipped with information access plate walls which allows residents to receive basic cable TV and to access the Internet.  All of campus has wireless internet access.  Furniture cannot be removed from the rooms, as there is no storage.

8. What shouldn't my student bring to campus? For the health, safety and well-being of all, it is necessary that some items be restricted from possession or use in the housing facilities. The following items are not allowed in any residential facilites at any time:

9. Can my student have a pet in his/her room or house? No. Students are not permitted to keep any animals in their room or house other than fish that live underwater at all times.

10. What do we do about roommate conflicts? If your student is experiencing a conflict with their roommate, they should first talk with their RA and determine if there is a way they can work through the disagreement or issues. RAs are trained in conflict resolution. If the conflict persists, the Area Coordinator is the next person to speak to. The Area Coordinator is also trained in conflict resolution and can help where the RA could not, or if necessary, help the student find another living situation. No roommate changes may be made within the first two weeks of each semester. It is generally best that students take ownership of the problem and try to work through it themselves—it provides a great sense of independence and autonomy and helps the student prepare for relationship negotiations later in life.

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11. Where can my student park his/her car? Where can I park when I come to visit? Parking permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. First year students will be issued a permit for “Green lot” near Kuyper Athletic Center.  Upperclass students will be issued a permit for the lot closest to their residence hall or house (space permitting). There are multiple parking lots located throughout campus. Parents may park in one of the numerous visitor parking spaces on campus or on the city streets. Additional designated parking areas will be available for special events.

12. What are my student's meal options? Can our family eat on campus when we visit? Students have three meal options, Central Market, Grand Central Station, and The Café at Geisler. More information about these options can be found here. Each student is allowed up to three guest passes per semester on his/her meal plan. Students may pick these passes up at the Central Market office during regular business hours. This can be a great way for families to dine with their student. If the guest passes are used up, or the dining services policy regarding guest passes changes, families can pay with cash or check to eat at these facilities.   

13. Is there a security officer on call 24 hours a day? Yes, Student Safety officers and other personnel are on-call and available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to respond to the needs of the campus community. Student Safety can be reached at (641) 628-9000 anytime of the day or night.

14. What is the college alcohol policy? The Central College Student Handbook states that “The college does not condone the possession or consumption of alcohol by students [of any age] on campus”.  That means alcohol is not allowed on campus.  Policy does not always dictate behavior, however, so it is important to talk with your student before s/he arrives on campus about how s/he will handle dealing with the presence of alcohol on or off campus.  Students found responsible for violation of the campus alcohol policy through the campus judicial system will find themselves with sanctions ranging from monetary fines, to alcohol education classes, to campus work.

15. What happens if my student violates campus policy? We believe that students should take responsibility for their decisions. We also believe students should learn from poor decisions, so we take an educational approach to the judicial process on campus.  If a student is found violating campus policy, the student will be contacted by the Dean of Students fe to set up a meeting with either a Area Coordinator or the College Hearing and Review Board (made up of faculty, staff, and students) to talk through the alleged violation. If the student is found in responsible for violating campus policy, s/he will be assigned sanctions to complete including but not limited to, monetary fines, campus work, educational classes, a goals clarification paper, or a meeting with a campus health professional.    

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