Central College Parent Connections
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September 2014

Dear Central College families,

We have moved back into the newly renovated Maytag Student Center, and it is beautiful!  By now students are into their daily routines, they have written their first papers, and they are starting to feel the pressure of midterm exams in a few short weeks. First-year students in particular may begin to feel overwhelmed, so it is a good time to remind them of the academic resources available to them, described below.  Fall is also a great time to take advantage of the programs and opportunities offered by the office of Career and Professional Development. Read on for more information. 

Homecoming 2014 is Oct. 3–5. Parent Council members serve at the Friday night BBQ and flip pancakes at the Saturday morning breakfast.  It would be a great time to visit your son or daughter and enjoy the festivities! 

Do you need to update your email address or change your subscription for this newsletter? If so, you may do so anytime at http://www.central.edu/newsletters/. As always, the parent website can be a great resource for you ,in addition to emailing parentconnections@central.edu with questions you may have regarding your student’s life at Central.

Go Dutch!
The Office of Student Development

The Student Involvement Fair held in early September was a great opportunity to meet leaders of many clubs and organizations at Central.
The Student Involvement Fair held in early September was a great opportunity to meet leaders of many clubs and organizations at Central.

From the President

President's Blog
You are invited to read and contribute to President Mark Putnam's latest blog posts as our campus continues to explore issues important to our academic community. Please visit http://blogs.central.edu/president/ to read the latest installment of his blog, Mark: my words. To subscribe to the blog, scroll down the sidebar on the right-hand side to locate the feature.


Chicago Semester
Chicago Semester internship program offers 10 Central students each year the opportunity to intern or student teach in the Windy City.  Students can get more information about Chicago Semester at an information session Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. in van Emmerik Studio.  The Chicago Semester website contains more detailed information about the program.  Central’s application deadline for 2015-16 (both semesters) is Feb. 2.

Study Abroad
With the Oct. 1 application deadline just around the corner, now is the time to get serious about study abroad in the spring semester.  Study abroad helps students to make significant gains towards graduation, and with intelligent planning, many of the requirements for some minors, such as Spanish, can be satisfied in one semester abroad.  For more information please visit http://www.central.edu/abroad/.

What can I do with a major in _____?
Nationally, 75 percent of college students enter college undecided or change their major at least once. Chances are good your student will approach you with ideas for a different major than he/she originally intended. If your student is a first-year student or sophomore, this is normal! A change of major means a student has recognized his/her strengths and passions in particular academic areas, some of which he/she may not have known prior to beginning college.  Go to the Career and Professional Development website to access a database of majors, including career possibilities, types of employers, and strategies to position oneself well within an academic major.

Upcoming Workshops
The Career and Professional Development Series began with job search overview last week. Recommended for all juniors and seniors and open to all students, the series continues with the following workshops:

  • Résumés and Cover Letters:  Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. or Oct. 28 at 11:30 a.m., van Emmerik Studio
  • Interviewing Strategies: Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. or Nov. 6 at 11 a.m., van Emmerik Studio
  • Dress for Success: Oct. 2 at 11 a.m., Men: van Emmerik Studio, Women: Moore Rooms, Maytag
  • Dining Etiquette: Oct. 8 or Nov. 11, 5:45-8 p.m., President’s Dining Room
  • Making Cent$ of Money: Information about payroll issues, loans, mortgages, savings, investments: Nov. 10, 6:30-8 p.m., Vermeer Science Center 241

MEET-UPS - something new from Career and Professional Development
Students are busy!  So we’re planning quick “Meet-Ups” where students can get questions answered about a variety of career-related topics!  These take place on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. –noon in various locations across campus.  On Oct. 14, we’ll address résumé tips.

Have a SKYPE interview scheduled? Need a business card to offer a future employer?
Career and Professional Development has you covered!  Students can schedule their phone or SKYPE interviews in a quiet room in Hoffman East, and they can make business cards to exchange with networking contacts.  Urge your son or daughter to contact us in Hoffman East to access these services.

Getting Academic Help
Students completed their first round of exams and papers last week. Midterm projects, papers and exams are due in the next three weeks. This can be a difficult time for students as they realize their grades may not be as high as expected and the workload is more than they anticipated. You can help your student be successful in classes by guiding them to several resources:

  • All professors have office hours during which the professor is available for students to drop in with questions or talk about ways to improve. These office hours are listed on the student’s syllabus for that class.
  • The Tutoring & Writing Center offers individual tutoring for any subject. Some subjects are on a set schedule, which is located at https://my.central.edu/ under Academics, Academic Support Services. On-call tutors and writing tutors are also available. The Tutoring & Writing Center is located on the second floor of Geisler Library. Most tutoring happens in this location. If a student is unsure about tutoring hours, encourage him/her to go to the Center to get more information.
  • Supplemental Instructors (SIs) host review sessions two to three times per week for classes in which a large number of students have traditionally struggled with the workload and material. The SI is a sophomore, junior or senior student who has successfully completed the class. Ask your student if there is an SI for his/her classes and if your student has been attending the review sessions. Encourage regular attendance at these sessions if your student is not already taking advantage of this resource.

Midterm Exam Tips
Midterm exams tend to be stressful for students. They feel pressure to do well on the exams, papers and projects but often have trouble managing their workload wisely to balance the extra time it takes to study, write and prepare. You can help your student through a successful midterm by:

  • Having realistic expectations for student’s grades—straight-A grades in high school may not translate to the same type of grades in college.
  • Understanding that students need more time to concentrate on their studies during this time period so they may not be as communicative with you as usual.
  • Resisting the urge to handle in- and out-of-class tasks for your student. Learning to juggle multiple responsibilities is an important adult life skill for students to practice.

The Dutch Brigade led the student section while cheering on the football team at the first home game of the year, which was also the first night game in many years.
The Dutch Brigade led the student section while cheering on the football team at the first
home game of the year, which was also the first night game in many years.

Residence Life Update

Roommate Tips
Is your son or daughter having roommate conflicts? Encourage your student to work through this conflict by contacting his/her RA or Hall Director, who can help the roommates discuss and solve the problem together. Taking ownership of the problem and seeing that they have the ability to solve it on their own gives students a sense of autonomy. It might also save you money! This article offers great tips for family members to help their student handle roommate conflict.

Campus Policies
Students are responsible for upholding community expectations at Central. Our number one priority is safety, reflected in the philosophy by which the campus policy is written. Students choosing not to follow campus policy are expected to take responsibility for their choices when confronted by college faculty or staff, including student resident adviser staff. Students alleged to be violating campus policy participate in the college conduct process. Those found in violation of campus policy are sanctioned. Encourage your student to familiarize him/herself with campus policy and sanctions so that he/she understands the guidelines by which we expect our community members to act here at Central. All campus policies are explained in the Student Handbook, found at https://my.central.edu/, Student Services tab.

Bicycle Registration
The office of safety and security offers free bicycle registration to students. A stolen or lost bicycle recovered during the school year is easily returned to its owner if it has been registered. A student who wants to register his/her bicycle should call the security officer on duty at 641-780-2847. Students are encouraged to lock their bicycles at all times as a favorite prank at Central is to throw unlocked bikes into the pond on campus.

College Break Information
Residence areas remain open for all college breaks except holiday/semester break. Students must vacate their rooms by 5 p.m. Dec. 19, until 12 p.m. Jan. 18. Special arrangements are made for winter athletics teams. Meal options will be limited during breaks. Residence areas are open during Fall Break.

The Maytag Student Center was officially dedicated on September 18 with a ribbon cutting ceremony, activities for students and cake!
The Maytag Student Center was officially dedicated on September 18 with a ribbon
cutting ceremony, activities for students and cake!

Health and Wellness

Student Health 101
Student Health 101 is a monthly newsletter sent to all students covering common college topics and transitions. Parent Perspective, a newsletter by the creators of Student Health 101, is meant to help family members become better informed about many of the issues students face so they can help guide students to healthy ways of dealing with various situations. This month’s issue is found at http://readsh101.com/central-pp.html, covering topics including

  • Study Tips
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Budgeting
  • Violence prevention
  • Emotional well-being
  • Benefits of mentorship

Common Adjustment Issues
First-year through senior students deal with adjustment issues at this time of year. Common issues students face include:

  • First-year students realize college is a lot more work than they anticipated. Questions like “Do I belong here? Do I fit in?” weigh heavily on students’ minds. It is common for new students to feel homesick as they long for the security and familiarity of home.
  • Second-year students may feel lost as pressure mounts to choose a major and study abroad.
  • Juniors often experience a heavy class load in their major, along with pressure to complete an internship for work experience.
  • Seniors realize they have little time left in college and feel pressure when asked what they’ll do next year.

A few tips for you to help your student through these common issues:

  1. Listen to them and let them vent. Avoid trying to solve the problem for them. Offer suggestions for how they might help themselves feel better. Be sure to call in the next day or two to check in. Often, the student’s frustrations are gone within a few days. If you see or hear the frustrations linger for a week or more, it may be time for you to step in to help. 
  2. Encourage your student to share their feelings with others. Most students are not alone in the frustrations they have, even if they think they are. Talking to others helps them see that other students are dealing with the same issue. It is also a great way to make a deeper connection with friends on campus.
  3. Know the resources on campus so you can point your student in the right direction for help. Information on campus resources is posted on https://my.central.edu/.
  4. Encourage your student to schedule a set time for relaxation and healthy leisure or exercise activities every day. This type of activity clears the mind, helping them have more productive studying.

Airport and Greyhound shuttle schedule

The Office of Student Involvement offers a $5 shuttle to the Des Moines airport and Greyhound station for college breaks. If you make travel plans for your student that work with the shuttle schedule listed below, please ask your student to reserve a shuttle spot for him/herself at least three days prior to the date he/she wishes to ride. Students should make this reservation themselves because they know best when they are done with class, exams or if they have already arranged friends to drive them. The shuttle schedule for 2014-15 is as follows:

Fall Break

Wednesday, Oct. 15 - Depart Pella 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 19 - Depart DSM Airport 6 p.m.

Thanksgiving Break

Wednesday, Nov. 26 - Depart Pella 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. or 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 30 - Depart DSM Airport 1 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Winter/Semester Break

Thursday, Dec. 18 – Depart Pella 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 19 – Depart Pella 8 a.m. or 11 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015 – Depart DSM Airport 1 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Spring Break

Friday, March 13 – Depart Pella 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 22 – Depart DSM Airport 1 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Easter Break

Thursday, April 2 – Depart Pella 11 a.m. or 2 p.m.
Monday, April 6 – Depart DSM Airport 6 p.m.

End of School Year

Thursday, May 14 - Depart Pella 3 p.m.
Friday, May 15 - Depart DSM Airport 8 a.m. or 11 a.m.

*The shuttle will also drop off/pick up students at the Des Moines Greyhound Bus Terminal or
Des Moines Amtrak Station if requested at the time of reservation.

Popular campus websites

Academics http://www.central.edu/academics
Admission http://www.central.edu
Alumni http://www.central.edu/alumni
Athletics http://www.central.edu/athletics
Bookstore http://central.textbookx.com/
Career Center http://www.central.edu/career
Conference Services http://www.central.edu/event-planners
Dining Services http://departments.central.edu/diningservices
Facilities Management http://www.central.edu/facilities
Fine arts http://www.central.edu/fine-arts
Online giving http://www.central.edu/makeagift
Registrar http://departments.central.edu/registrar/
Study abroad http://www.central.edu/abroad

The Parent Connections newsletter is created by the Office of Student Development. The information presented is based on expert advice from professional staff at Central College and those working in higher education beyond Central. If there are topics you would like to see addressed in the newsletter, please email parentconnections@central.edu.

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Central College812 University
Pella, Iowa 50219