Central College Parent Connections
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August 2014

Dear Central College Families,

We eagerly await the arrival of our new and returning students over the next week. The Maytag Student Center is in the final stages of renovation, and we are excited for students to see it. It will be open to the public on Saturday, August 23, so if you are here for Move-In Day, stop by!

Campus is alive with energy and anticipation for the start of the academic year. Welcome Week activities occur every day once new students arrive, leading up to the start of classes on Wednesday, August 27. Information about how students make changes to their schedules and how they can make satisfactory academic progress to ensure they graduate in four years is below. There are many ways for students to get involved on campus. Read on for details about music ensembles, the Student Involvement Fair and “Red Rock Rocks” service project.  

One of the best ways you can help your daughter or son is to encourage them to stay on campus for Labor Day weekend!  The Campus Activities Board and residence life staff have been busy planning a host of events throughout the weekend. The men’s and women’s soccer teams will play on campus. The annual Big Gaass BBQ and volleyball tournament is on the calendar, as well as the “Find It at Geisler” Instagram scavenger hunt/self-guided tour at the library. Fred’s, the new restaurant in Maytag, will be open until 11 p.m. each night, and the Central Market will be serving meals at the regular hours.  Many activities and opportunities for students to connect with each other are planned for Labor Day weekend, so do them a favor and encourage them to stay. We thank you, and they will, too! 

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

Go Dutch!
The Office of Student Development

SOS Orientation Leaders were thrilled to serve as helpful guides and smiling faces during the June and July orientation and registration programs.
Iowa Private College Week brought more than 300 visiting students
to Central’s campus the first week in August.

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.


Schedule Changes for Fall 2014
The drop/add deadline for full semester courses is Friday, Sept. 5. If a student drops a class prior to the deadline, the class will not appear on the student’s transcript. Students are responsible for dropping and adding courses via WebAdvisor and should discuss any changes with their academic advisor.  Students who withdraw from a course after the drop/add deadline but before Friday, November 14 will receive a ‘W’ (withdrawn) grade on the academic transcript.  After November 14, students may not withdraw from any classes and will receive a final grade for the course.  Students need to be watchful when withdrawing from classes as dropping below 12 credits (full-time status) will affect athletic eligibility and may impact financial aid or student housing eligibility.   Students may not withdraw from a course via WebAdvisor and must do so by visiting the Registrar’s Office located in Central Services, Central Hall 2nd floor.

Satisfactory Academic Progress
Central College admits students whom we believe have the background, desire and ability to be successful in college and to make adequate progress toward the degree. To graduate from Central College, a student must earn 120 semester hours of credit and earn minimum cumulative and major grade point averages of 2.0. Full-time students are expected to complete the requirements for graduation within four years (eight semesters) by completing an average of 30 credits each year. The academic progress committee makes recommendations to the associate dean of academic affairs regarding which students are to be warned, placed on probation, continued on probation, suspended or, as a last resort, dismissed if they are not progressing at the minimum rates indicated below:*


Semester 1

Semester 2    

First Year (0-27 credits)

0-12 credits/1.7 GPA

27 credits/1.8 GPA

Second Year (28-58 credits)

42 credits/1.9 GPA

58 credits/2.0 GPA

Third Year (59-89 credits)

73 credits/2.0 GPA

89 credits/2.0 GPA

Fourth Year (90+ credits)

104 credits/2.0 GPA

120 credits/2.0 GPA

*First- and second-year students are expected to achieve a GPA that coincides with the number of semesters in college rather than the total number of credits earned toward classification.

If a student is placed on academic probation, the academic advisor and class dean are notified so they may become involved and help the student clarify academic goals and identify helpful campus resources, such as tutoring, study strategies and time management.  Students who demonstrate little or no improvement at the end of the semester of probation will be continued on probation, suspended or dismissed and may have their financial aid reduced. A full description of academic warning, probation and suspension is found in the Academic Policies section of the Central College Catalog.

Graduate School Preparation
Considering graduate school?  The junior year is key!  Students will want to quickly learn about graduate school admission tests and register to take them as soon as possible. A timeline for graduate school planning, explanation about the application process, and numerous helpful links is available at: https://my.central.edu/Student-Services/Career-Services/Documents/GradSchoolGuide%20pages.pdf For additional graduate school resources, visit: https://my.central.edu/Student-Services/Career-Services/Pages/Graduate-School.aspx

Professional Development
The Professional Development series of workshops begins in mid-September and includes: job search overview, résumés and cover letters, interviewing strategies, professional dress and dining etiquette. For a full listing of workshops, internship and job openings, as well as more information about professional preparation, visit http://www.central.edu/career/.

Fall Internship Deadline
When asked what they have learned, recent interns state, "I'm capable," and "I reaffirmed this is the field I want to go into."  Internships work! Sophomore through senior students considering a fall semester internship should work to secure their internship now. The deadline to register a fall semester internship for credit is Friday, Sept. 5th, at 12 p.m. (the drop/add deadline). For more information regarding internship opportunities, possible locations to intern, and current openings, see: http://www.central.edu/go/internships/

Music Ensemble Opportunities, including College-Community Orchestra and Chorus at Central
The Central College Music Department offers large and small ensemble opportunities for all students.  A student does not need to be a music major or minor to have an enriching, creative outlet.  Students of all majors and ability levels participate, gaining life skills and meaningful relationships.  For more information, students should contact the appropriate director:

  • Mark Babcock, Director of Choral Activities
  • Gabriel Espinosa, Director of Jazz
  • Mitchell Lutch, Director of Bands
  • Diane Phoenix-Neal, Director of the Orchestra

In addition, Central’s music department faculty invite students, faculty, staff and area community members to share the gift of music via the college-community ensembles. These ensembles rehearse one night per week throughout the school year, performing one concert each semester. The orchestra rehearses Tuesdays at 7 p.m. under the direction of Diane Phoenix-Neal (phoenixneald@central.edu). The chorus also rehearses Tuesdays at 7 p.m. under the direction of Mark Babcock (babcockm@central.edu). Anyone interested in joining these ensembles should contact the conductor of that ensemble for more information.

New students and their families check in for a recent July orientation and registration program.
A new filtration system installed in the pond this summer will help to reduce algae growth.

Residence Life Update

Room Condition Inventory/Report
Within 24 hours of occupancy, each resident was asked to complete, sign and return a room condition inventory to his/her resident advisor. This room inventory is an accurate and complete record of the contents and condition of the assigned room, suite or pod and will be the basis for damage charges if assessed. It is extremely important that students are detailed on this report, because any damages found upon checkout not listed on the inventory will be assessed. Failure to complete, sign and return the form results in the resident’s assumption of responsibility for any damage evident in the room, suite or pod.

Parking Permits for 2014-15
Returning students received parking permit registration forms for 2014-15 via e-mail in April, while new students were directed to the campus security/parking website to submit parking permit requests. All vehicles, including motorcycles, must have valid parking permits prior to the start of classes in August. Students who have not already done so should submit their parking permit applications to the office of safety and security as soon as possible via the online application. Parking permits will be issued over the summer and placed in the student’s campus mailbox prior to move-in. The cost of the permit will be billed to student accounts.

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 641-628-9000. 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
Residential areas remain open for all college breaks except Christmas holiday/semester break. Students must vacate their rooms by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, until 12 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18. Special arrangements are made for winter athletics teams. Meal options will be limited during breaks. Residential areas are open Labor Day weekend, and students are strongly encouraged to stay on campus. There will be many activities hosted for students over Labor Day weekend. This is a pivotal time for new students in the transition to college and remaining on campus that first weekend will help with the adjustment to Central.   

The Maytag Student Center is currently undergoing a major summer renovation, which should be complete just before students move back to campus in August.
Work continues on Fred’s, the newly renovated dining area within Maytag Student Center.

Get Involved

Welcome Week
Welcome Week activities for new students will occur Saturday, Aug. 23 through Saturday, Aug. 30. Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 27. These activities are meant to help students become acquainted with new classmates, familiarize themselves with campus, prepare for academic coursework and understand the expectations we have of them within the Central community. Follow the link to view the Welcome Week schedule: https://www.central.edu/campus-life/student-activities/welcome-week/

New students can begin moving into their assigned housing on Saturday, Aug. 23 from 8 a.m.–1 p.m.  If your student is assigned to Gaass, Graham, Hoffman, Pietenpol, or Scholte Halls, check-in occurs at each individual hall.  If your student is assigned to McKee Hall or a townhouse, check-in occurs on the second floor of the Maytag Student Center.  Once students arrive at their room, they will be asked to immediately complete a room condition report; please be sure to take time and use extra detail, as this will be the official record used for end of the year room damages, if any.

You and your student are invited to an ice cream social by the pond at 2 p.m. prior to Turning Over the Class at 4 p.m., which is when students will begin the Welcome Week festivities and parents are free to leave.

Student Involvement Fair
The annual Student Involvement Fair will be Wednesday, Sept. 3, 6-8 p.m. in the Maytag Student Center. Student organizations recruit new members at this time. First-year through senior students are encouraged to attend. It is important that students find co-curricular activities to help build their leadership skills, broaden their experiences and strengthen their résumé. The event is an open house; students come and go as they wish. You can help by encouraging your student to attend this event, as it is a great way to kick off the academic year.

Red Rock Service Project
The Central Volunteer Center (CVC) will host the annual “Red Rock Rocks” Service Project Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Students, faculty and staff volunteers spend two hours cleaning up the shores of Lake Red Rock, planting trees and collecting prairie seeds before sharing a barbecue lunch at the lake. The event is an informal way to meet new friends while giving back to the Pella area community. Sign-up for the event begins Monday, Aug. 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Maytag Student Center. If your student has enjoyed volunteer opportunities in the past or is interested in meeting new friends, please encourage him/her to sign up to join the fun!

Health and Wellness

Health and wellness are Central. With the addition of fitness equipment in the Wellness Center on the lower level of Maytag, the college will have facilities conveniently located at each end of campus.

For health services, Central College has partnered with Pella Regional Health Center (PRHC) to provide patient care. The hospital and clinic are conveniently located within a mile of campus. Students who do not have access to a vehicle may contact 641-628-9000 to make arrangements for transportation to and from their appointments.

Students will be able to access care at PRHC in three ways:

  • Schedule an appointment. Call 641-621-2200 or go online. Your student should identify themselves as a Central College student.
  • Convenient Care, available after normal business hours, is located at the Pella Regional Hospital through the emergency entrance.
    • Monday-Friday 4 - 9 p.m.
    • Saturday 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    • Sunday Noon - 5 p.m.
  • Emergency Room (Level III Trauma Center) for acute injury or significant illness is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Students should bring a list of immunizations, allergies, prescribed medications and chronic conditions as well as their insurance card with them to each clinic appointment/hospital visit.

Directions to Pella Regional Health Center can be located here.

With the new Maytag Center comes a new coordinator who will oversee the center, offer personal fitness assistance/suggestions and work with the Wellness Educators to provide educational and developmental opportunities for students.

Dean of Students Charlie Strey is the college’s liaison with PRHC and can assist students with questions or concerns about accessing health services.

Airport and Greyhound shuttle schedule

The Office of Student Involvement offers a $5 shuttle to the Des Moines International Airport for college breaks. The shuttle DOES NOT go to the Amtrak train station in Ottumwa. If you make travel plans for your student that coincides with the shuttle schedule listed below, please ask your student to reserve a shuttle spot for her/himself at least three days prior to the date s/he wishes to ride. Students should make this reservation themselves, as they know best when they are done with classes and exams or if they have already arranged for rides from friends. 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