Central College Parent Connections
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January 2015

Dear Central College families,

Welcome back!  Classes began Jan. 19 with a shortened schedule to allow students, faculty and staff to attend an 11 a.m. convocation in Douwstra Auditorium and begin a weeklong celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The convocation program, “Let Freedom Ring: Peacemakers Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” featured students Yaqoob Ahmad, Emily Grant and Rachel Pearson, faculty Cynthia Mahmood, Michael Harris, Lori Witt, Kim Koza and Shawn Wick, and administrators T. Todd Masman and Mary Strey.  Following the program has been a week of daily service opportunities in the Maytag Student Center, sponsored by the Center for Community-Based Learning, Campus Ministries, SCATE and the computer science club. Dr. King visited Central College in March 1967 and shared his vision with students, faculty, staff and local community members. The college plans to hang a photo taken during that event on the first floor of the Maytag Student Center.

To learn ways you can help your daughter or son prepare for the future this semester, read the to-do list below.  Staying healthy also remains a challenge for students, so see reminders about how to avoid the flu and tips from the Maytag Fitness Center.  If you have a graduating senior, save the date for Baccalaureate and Commencement on Saturday, May 16.  We’ll send you more details soon!    

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

Go Dutch!
The Office of Student Development

In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, students participated in a variety of 
In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, students participated in a variety of 
service projects, such as making tie blankets for charity.

President's Blog
You are invited to read and contribute to President Mark Putnam's latest blog posts as we continue to explore issues important to our academic community. Visit Mark: my words to read and participate in the dialogue. To subscribe to the blog, scroll down the sidebar on the right-hand side.

Financial Aid Update

2015-2016 FAFSA
It’s time to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2015-2016. Iowa families who want to be considered for the Iowa Tuition Grant should have their FAFSA filed by June 30. Need help with the FAFSA? Contact Central’s financial aid office at finaid@central.edu or 641-628-5187.  For additional information and to apply for your free FAFSA, visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

Spring Semester To-Do List
You can help your student by reminding him or her to prepare for life after college — there are many opportunities outside the classroom.


  • Attend job search workshops in early spring.
  • Start searching now for employment, service or other post-graduate opportunities.
  • Update résumés and become familiar with components of strong applications and cover letters.


  • Update résumés and find opportunities to fill gaps in experience.
  • Apply before March 1 to study abroad in summer — or by March 15 to study abroad fall semester.
  • Start searching now for a summer internship, job shadow or other professional experience.
  • Take a leadership role on campus.


  • Declare a major.
  • Write a résumé.
  • Get involved on campus and pursue leadership roles.
  • Apply before March 1 to study abroad in summer — or by March 15 to study abroad fall semester
  • Start searching now for a summer internship, job shadow or other professional experience.

First-Year Students

  • Explore academic areas to find the right fit.
  • Explore campus leadership workshops and skill-builders.
  • Get involved on campus and pursue leadership roles.
  • Apply before March 1 to study abroad in summer — or by March 15 to study abroad fall semester.


Schedule Changes for Spring 2014
The drop/add deadline for full semester courses is Jan. 30. 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 advisers.  Students who withdraw from a course after the drop/add deadline but before April 17 will receive a ‘W’ (withdrawn) grade on the academic transcript. After April 17, students may not withdraw from any classes; they will receive final grades for all courses.

Academic Progress
Central College requires all enrolled students to make satisfactory academic progress toward graduation.  If a student is placed on academic probation, the academic adviser and class dean are notified so they may help the student clarify academic goals and identify helpful campus resources, such as tutoring, study strategies and time management.  Additional information is available on page 32 of the 2014-15 Catalog:  http://departments.central.edu/registrar/files/2011/08/Academic-Policies1.pdf

Graduating Seniors
Soon after classes begin, May 2015 graduates will begin receiving information about Commencement and will be asked to verify their diploma name, name pronunciation, major(s) and minor(s).  Central students are required to apply for graduation two semesters prior to their intended date of graduation. 

Study Abroad
Study opportunity in Turkey this summer
Students may choose between two courses, Islam or Biblical Archaeology, as part of the 16-day program to Turkey.  They will engage with course material firsthand as they travel with our faculty leader, Dr. Terry Kleven.  A $1000 scholarship will be awarded to each of the first 10 students to register for the program. Read more information here.

Spring Semester & Summer Internships
It’s time for students to finalize spring semester internships — and work to secure a summer placement.  Read more information at http://www.central.edu/go/internships/, where students can find current internship openings. Students are also encouraged to seek opportunities beyond those already listed.  Any student seeking a spring semester internship should contact Jessica Klyn de Novelo the first week of spring semester (klynj@central.edu).  A summer internship workshop will also be held early this semester.

Graduate School Series
Students are invited to participate in a series about graduate school options, preparation and funding opportunities at noon on Thursdays, Feb. 5, 19 and 26, in VSC 180. This series is geared toward juniors, but all students are welcome.

Session 1, Feb. 5, will focus on choosing and applying to graduate school, with an emphasis on deciding if graduate school is right for you. We will discuss questions students should ask before choosing to invest in advanced education — and how to select programs that align with their goals, values and passions. The session will also include a general plan and timeline for applications, methods to evaluate schools and programs, and information about the application process.

Session 2, Feb. 19, will focus on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The workshop will focus on how to register for the exam, how the exam is structured and scored, how the computer session works and what to expect on test day. Additionally, we will discuss the verbal, quantitative and analytical portions of the exam, providing an overview of the sections and some strategies for preparation.
Session 3, Feb. 26, will focus on graduate school funding opportunities, including tips and tricks when applying for these.

Students interested in graduate school are also encouraged to contact Dr. Anya Butt for individual graduate school help — and discuss questions with their academic advisers.  

Professional Development Series
Career and Professional Development hosts a series of workshops ideal for juniors and seniors in all majors.  (Specialized workshops are held for elementary and secondary education majors as part of student teaching seminar.)  The workshops, held in Vermeer Science Center 180 unless otherwise noted, include:

  • Job Search Overview: Thursday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m. or Wednesday, Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m.
  • Résumé and Cover Letter Writing: Thursday, Feb. 5, 11 a.m. or Wednesday, March 4, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dress for Success: Thursday, Feb. 12, 11 a.m., men in Boat Room, women in Moore Room, Maytag
  • Interviewing Strategies: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 11 a.m. or Wednesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dining Etiquette: Thursday, Feb. 26, 5:45 p.m. or Wednesday, April 1, 5:45 p.m., President’s Dining Room, Central Market

Residence Life Update

College Break Information
Residence areas will remain open for spring break, March 16-22, and Easter break, April 3-6. Spring semester finals end at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 14. Residence areas close to all students except graduating seniors Friday, May 15, at 5 p.m. Students who stay late to participate in graduation events (e.g. choir, band) or for spring sports will receive information from residence life regarding their checkout date and time. 

Get Involved

Homecoming 2015
SAVE THE DATE! Homecoming will be held Oct. 9-11. You are invited to join us on campus for the festivities. Details will be announced over the summer.

Get involved this semester
The beginning of a new semester is a great time for students to consider new ways to get involved. The Student Involvement Fair will be held Jan. 27 in the Maytag Student Center and is a great event for students of all ages to become involved in new or different activities. Encourage your student to attend the fair and talk with current student leaders from various campus organizations.

Martin Luther King, Jr. honored
The week of January 19, the college observed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a variety of programs. Afternoons during the week were devoted to service opportunities for students, ranging from assembling tie blankets, making diapers for children in Haiti and recruiting e-mentor Pen Pals for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The District Representative from the Office of Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA) also attended.

Student Leadership Opportunities
Two Student Leadership Fairs will be held from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 12 and 18 in the Maytag Student Center for students interested in leadership roles on campus.  Paid positions include Orientation/SOS staff, Resident Advisors, Intercultural Educators, Campus Activities Board, Counseling Peer Educators and Wellness Educators. Other organizations attending include Student Senate, Greek Council, Residence Hall Councils and the Career Center Leadership Board.  Please encourage your student to check out the possibilities for them to be involved in campus life!

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 inform family members of the many issues college students face so they are better equipped to offer perspective and help guide students to healthy ways of coping with various situations. January’s parent issue of Student Health 101 is found at  http://readsh101.com/0115/central-pp.html. Topics include:

  • The Science of Happy: 8 Ways to Get Into the Habit
  • Small Steps to Big Fitness: A Little Goes A Long Way
  • Breaking Budget? 6 Steps to Smart Spending

Flu Season Reminders
College students living on campus are at a heightened risk for catching the flu because of the large number of people living in close quarters. Central’s Wellness Educators encourage everyone to follow the advice offered by the Centers for Disease Control.

  • Get a flu vaccine.
  • If you get the flu, treat it early. Antiviral drugs are available to treat flu.
  • Prevention tips:
    • Avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Wash hands frequently. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Get good rest (college students often struggle with this).
    • Eat balanced meals.
    • Clean and disinfect your residence hall room on a regular basis. Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant.
    • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
    • Cough and sneeze into a tissue (or your sleeve if a tissue is not available).
    • If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home and rest.

Students displaying flu symptoms should be encouraged to remain in their room or at home. Students should communicate directly with their professors before class if they are ill. Please remind your son/daughter to call Pella Regional Health Center — Central Clinic to make an appointment if the initial symptoms persist or worsen. Students who visit PRHC — Central Clinic in the early stage of illness tend to recover faster than students who wait until they are very ill. You can also help by providing your student with basic supplies to provide relief from the common cold or other illnesses common in the winter.

A Word from the Maytag Fitness Center
Is your New Year’s resolution to live a healthier, more balanced lifestyle? Good for you! To acheive overall good health, the Wellness Educators encourage you to make exercise a part of your regular routine. Here are some tips to get you started:

Tip #1 – Strengthen Your Core
Don't be afraid of sit-ups. We've changed our tune on these, and here's why: Sit-ups increase your range of motion, which makes your abdominals work harder and longer. Just avoid sit-ups with anchored feet, which can hurt your lower back.   

Tip #2 – Kill Your Excuse
If you think you're too busy to exercise, try this experiment: For one day, schedule a time to work out, and then stick to it — even if you can exercise for only 10 minutes. "At the end of the day, ask yourself if you were any less productive than usual," says John Jakicic, Ph.D., an exercise psychologist at the Brown University School of Medicine.

Airport and Greyhound Shuttle
The Office of Student Involvement offers a $5 shuttle to the Des Moines Int’l Airport and Des Moines Greyhound Bus station for college breaks. The shuttle does NOT run to the Amtrak station in Ottumwa. If you make travel plans for your student that coincide 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 reservations themselves as they know best when they are done with classes, exams, or if they have already arranged friends to drive them. The shuttle schedule for 2014-15 is as follows:

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