Archive: Student Information

This information is archived as of May 26, 2020, and is saved here for reference.
See latest information for Central students.

Click each header to view updates.

April 17, 2020
Room and Board Refund Information

Dear Central students,

It is my greatest hope this note finds you all healthy and well. I also hope you have transitioned well to remote learning and are learning lots while staying connected with your friends and faculty.

All of us recognize what an extraordinary time this is for each of you. We have appreciated your understanding, dedication and flexibility as we have implemented changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I write today to share information regarding adjustments to housing and dining fees.

Let me begin by sharing we have tried to build as much flexibility into this process as we can so we can best meet your needs. We plan to issue credits or refunds for room and board on a prorated basis. Our intent is to apply the credit first to any outstanding balance on your account and then provide you with a refund or credit of your choosing.

Your options include:

  • Having the funds sent to you through the postal service or via an e-check.
  • Applying the credit to a student loan.
  • Using the credit balance or a portion of the credit balance toward payment for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Donating refunds to help other students.

As you might imagine, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant financial impact on the college. If, and only if, you are in a position to credit the funds to your account next year, you would be greatly helping the college with its operational needs.

Some families have contacted us offering to donate any refund for which they may be eligible to help others. Because of that, we thought it might be helpful to share that information more broadly. We are offering a few options for those who would like to donate the room and board refund, which is tax-deductible. These options include supporting:

  • The unexpected costs and hardships others may be experiencing due to the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak through the Central Cares Fund.
  • Annual scholarship needs through the Journey Scholarship Fund.

Your credit/refund information can be found on the front page of your MyCentral Student portal. In addition, a letter is on its way to your home with your personal credit/refund information details.

Once you have determined your preference, please submit this form. If we do not receive your preferences by May 1, 2020, we will place the credit in your account to use toward Fall 2020 costs. If you are a senior, we will issue a refund check by mid-May and send to your home address.

Please know we will work to process your requests as quickly as possible.

And please know how much we miss each of you. All of us at Central look forward to the day when we can welcome you back to campus as students or as alumni.

In the meantime, take good care and stay connected.

Mark L. Putnam
Central College President

April 13, 2020
Fred’s Closed

As the population of students and staff present on campus has continued to be impacted by COVID 19 and remote work status, it is no longer practical for Fred’s to remain open at lunch time. We have devised a system to deliver meals to those few students/employees who reside on campus but do not have the staff nor the volume of customers to operate Fred’s.

Due to the low numbers and limited number of staff still working in Food Service, Fred’s will be closed until further notice.

We will reevaluate the campus situation over the next two months and if conditions improve significantly then, will consider reopening Fred’s.

April 3, 2020
Virtual Activities Webpage

From: Student Development

Student Development is excited to offer a special webpage dedicated to providing students with information about upcoming Spring 2020 student activities, great tips and tools for being successful while studying remotely, fun how-to videos featuring both students and staff, as well as other fun ideas including a new Central coloring page that you can try out while social distancing.

Visit the page often to see what’s new, invest in your well-being and success and stay connected to the Central Dutch community. As always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Please consider submitting your own video or other content for the page. To do so, email Sean Wiseman, assistant dean of students, at wisemans@central.edu.

April 1, 2020
Zoom Help Available

From: IT Services

Our ITS team is offering extended hours to help the Central community navigate remote learning. The ITS Help Desk is now available via phone and email during the following times:

  • 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday
  • 5-9 p.m. Sunday

Call 641-628-7010 or send an email to zoomhelp@central.edu.

March 30, 2020
Central’s Website as a Central Repository

For the time being, Central’s campus is closed to the general public and visitors for everyone’s safety. I urge you all to check your Central email account and the Central coronavirus webpage frequently for updates.The webpage has a list of announcements and resources to help you, along with instructions about how to access many college services. You’ll find separate buttons on the coronavirus page for FAQs; student, faculty, and staff communications; and an updates button that connects you with communications from me. You’ll also receive messages in your Central email accounts and a great deal of that communication will be archived on the website for your convenience.

March 30, 2020
#CentralConnects

One way we can stay connected remotely is through social media. I encourage you to use #CentralConnects in your Central-related social media posts.

March 30, 2020
ITS Help Desk Extended Hours

Our ITS team is offering extended hours to help the Central community navigate remote learning. The ITS Help Desk is now available via phone and email during the following times:

  • 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday
  • 5-9 p.m. Sunday

To request tech support, faculty, staff and students may call 641-628-7010 or send an email to helpdesk@central.edu.

March 30, 2020
Student Account Adjustments

Many of you have asked about adjustments to room and meal plans. Each student’s situation is unique and calculations based on move out dates are in process now. By mid-April, we will provide details to each student, who has completed the move out process, about their specific adjustment. Students will not be required to request an adjustment. Students who were studying on our international programs also will be receiving this information in mid-April.

March 30, 2020
Commencement

While we are disappointed we cannot celebrate as planned in May, please know we are working on details for a commencement ceremony in the fall. We look forward to celebrating the academic achievements and accomplishments of our graduates! As soon as we identify the specific date and time, we’ll be in touch with our graduates, their families and our community. It’s going to be a very special time for all of us.

March 30, 2020
Hoo-Rah Day and Central Cares

We still plan to host our annual Hoo-Rah Day on April 7 to help and celebrate the entire Central family. Your participation celebrating Central on social media during this special day will show the world how extraordinary it is to be part of the Dutch family.As part of the day, we will offer friends and donors the opportunity to support a new fund called Central Cares. This fund has been established to assist Central students experiencing extreme hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. It is our intent that contributions to Central Cares will be awarded to students demonstrating need for emergency assistance due to changes in economic or health conditions. Please watch for future communications providing additional details about this program and how students may apply for grants from it to ensure a successful educational experience.

March 30, 2020
Other Spring Traditions

In addition, we are evaluating other spring traditions that we know are important – and fun – for the Central community. Student Development, in collaboration with student leaders, is working to bring some of these traditions to you remotely. Again, please stay tuned about how we can stay social distantly while social distancing.

March 30, 2020
Spirit Shoppe

Due to the recent expansion of restrictions for businesses, the Spirit Shoppe is closed but still taking online orders.

March 30, 2020
Summer Study Abroad, Chicago

Because of the continued global risks associated with the COVID-19 virus and related travel restrictions, off-campus summer programs (including study abroad) will not be offered this summer (2020). Students who applied have been notified.

March 30, 2020
Central Scenes for Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

From: Central Communications

Let’s bring a little Central cheer to our Zoom classrooms and meetings!

The virtual background feature in Zoom allows you to display an image or video as your background. Zoom provides some background options, but you can also upload your own pictures. The Central Communications team has put together some great Central scenes that will work well for this purpose.

How to Add a Background to Zoom

  1. Download image.
  2. Open Zoom.
  3. Join or start a meeting.
  4. Click ^ next to the video icon on the bottom portion of your screen.
  5. Click Choose Virtual Background.
  6. Click Add Image and select the picture from your computer. (Note: The image may appear to be reversed; however, it will be shown correctly to your classroom or meeting attendees.)
  7. The new background will be added to the Zoom background options.
  8. The next time you start or join a meeting, choose from your Central background options.

Go Dutch!

March 23, 2020
Registration Date Changes

From: Registrar’s Office

With all classes moving to remote learning and offices on campus closed for the time being, registration has been pushed back to April 15, 20 and 22.

This will give faculty and students more time to become familiar with the distance learning process before setting up remote meetings (via Zoom, email or telephone) so students can receive advisor approval for fall registration.

Please visit our registration hub. This is where you can view the calendar for registration dates. At the bottom of this hub you can click on the link in the “Registration Ready” paragraph to see your updated registration day/time and review any holds you may have. All holds must be cleared prior to registering.

At the top of the registration hub are two documents that will guide you through (1) Advising/Registration Guidelines and (2) how to submit forms to the Registrar’s Office.

Please note: All communication between students, advisors, instructors and the Registrar’s office MUST be done using Central email.

March 23, 2020
Central’s Counseling Services Shifting to Remote Operation

From: Student Development

Central College is shifting to remote operation for the remainder of Spring 2020 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. The Counseling Center is responding to these changes by offering this information and updating our services.

  • Central’s Counseling Center is working to offer telehealth services (video-based services) that are aligned with the laws and regulations pertaining to psychological practice in Iowa and professional ethical guidelines. We are currently engaged in training and preparation to offer this new service and hope to be able to begin offering it March 30. More information on those services will be forthcoming.
  • For now, we recommend you seek care in your local community.  (See Finding a Therapist in Your Home Community, below.) Please let us know if you would like assistance with this process. We are here to help! For those who are on our schedule, we will be in touch with you via phone and/or email.
  • You may also continue to access TAO (Therapy Assistance Online) with your Central College email address.

If you have questions as to whether you are already in the TAO system, please let us know. We can resend the sign-up link to you if need be.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

  • As always, please call 641-628-9000 in an emergency if you are on campus or call 9-1-1 if you are off-campus in the United States.
  • National crisis hotlines and online services:
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
    • The Trevor Project (LGBTQ Suicide Hotline): 866-488-7386
    • Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860
    • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
    • Crisis Text Line for Students of Color: Text STEVE to 741741

Psychiatry (Medication):  Transferring Your Prescription

If you are not local but have used a pharmacy in or near Pella:

  • Call your home pharmacy ASAP to ask for a transfer of any existing prescriptions.
  • Provide the name and dose of your medication.
  • Confirm completed transfer with your home pharmacy.

Finding a Therapist in Your Home Community

Once you have a sense of what you are seeking, you can use this tool to help you find a therapist in your area:

  • Go to Psychology Today webpage (psychologytoday.com)
  • Click on “Find a Therapist” or scroll down to the “Find a Therapist” search bar
  • Enter your ZIP code (or neighborhood if you are in larger place)
  • Use the filter to choose your insurance (if you are using insurance)

You may also contact the Counseling Center for support at 641-628-5656.

March 23, 2020
Managing Concerns and Emotions about COVID-19

From: Student Development

It’s important to note that we are not helpless in light of current news events. We can always choose our response. Here are some tips to help you put information and concerns in perspective, manage your emotions and maintain a positive outlook:

Separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those. Wash your hands. Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news. (Do you really need to know what is happening on a cruise ship you aren’t on?)

Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others. It’s ok if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit attendance at large social events, but make sure you separate when you are isolating based on potential for sickness versus isolating because it’s part of depression.

Get outside in nature — even if you are avoiding crowds. Taking a walk can feel good. Go with someone. Not only will you be getting some fresh air, you will also be spending quality time together. Exercise also helps both your physical and mental health.

Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding — you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Notice the sights, sounds, tastes, and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.

Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support. You don’t have to be alone with your worry, and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.

Seek accurate information and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information or inaccurate information. Here are some reliable sources of information:

Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and stay focused on the situation, rather than the worst-case-scenario. It can be helpful to shift your focus to things within your control rather than things outside your control.

Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties.

Maintain your normal day-to-day activities and keep connected. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own worry. If your day-to-day activities are disrupted by college closings, attempt to create structure in your day by scheduling a normal bedtime and wake up time; structuring your time with hobbies, homework, reading, etc.; scheduling regular phone/video contact with friends and family.

Follow the prevention and protection tips given by medical professionals such as national medical authorities and your own medical doctor.

Practice calming rituals. Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening.

Seek support and use resources. Reach out to friends and family and learn about resources that are available. If you or someone you know has high distress that does not seem to be lessening, talk about it with others, or contact the Counseling Center at 641-628-5656.

Avoid stigmatizing or generalizing. Remember to keep in mind the kindness and empathy with which we strive to treat one another as we address this challenge together. Be aware if your behavior or attitudes change toward others from another country and avoid stigmatizing anyone who is sick as potentially having the Coronavirus. Often when there is uncertainty, our thoughts can become less compassionate and more fear-based.

Recognizing Distress – A Self-Checklist

  • Increased worry, fear and feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify
  • Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased academic or work performance or performance of other daily activities
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Excessive crying
  • Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors)
  • A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future
  • Sudden anger or irritability or noticeable changes in personality

Seeking Support

It’s not unusual to experience some, or even several, of the types of distress listed above during times of uncertainly and stress. If you notice these signs in yourself, reach out to family and friends for support and engage in your usual heathy coping strategies (e.g., moderate exercise; eating well; getting adequate sleep; practicing yoga, meditation or some other mindfulness activity; take time for yourself; engage in a hobby or other fun activity, etc.).

If your distress continues or gets to the point that you are having difficulty managing your day-to-day activities, seek professional help.

Information adapted from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American Psychological Association.

March 20, 2020
Internet Connectivity for Students Who Don’t Have It at Home

From: Academic Affairs

Many of you are concerned about you or your friends having reliable internet connections at home. A number of service providers have offered to help students during this time. The list below identifies some options to consider.

  • FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment and open hot-spots.
  • Comcast COVID-19 response offers free Wi-Fi for two months to low-income families, plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
  • Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
  • AT&T COVID-19 response offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers and $10/month plans to low-income families
  • Verizon COVID-19 response has no special offers but is following the FCC agreement
  • Sprint COVID-19 response follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers and starting Tuesday, March 17, and will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
  • T-Mobile COVID-19 response follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers and soon will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).