Central College offers students a well-rounded, private four year college education based on the liberal arts emphasis and focused on scientific advancement. The school holds a strong affiliation with the Reformed Church in America, which is responsible for helping students develop solid leadership qualities both in and out of the classroom. Based on the Christian heritage and tradition, Central College students are encouraged to participate in community service activities that create a robust impact in both the local and global world. Some of the most popular programs offered at Central College include Business Management, and Elementary Education. Many students take advantage of the internship programs available through the school that successfully place the majority of students in permanent salaried positions after graduation.
Providing students with an environment that is both academically and intellectually enriching is a priority at Central College. Faculty and staff members follow a vigorous curriculum to educate students in the various coursework and programs – the majority of those hold an advanced degree in the field of study themselves. The campus location offers students an exhilarating atmosphere, surrounded by many international business districts that include corporations such as the Pella Corporation and Heritage Lace. This enables students the ability to find employment and job placement opportunities just minutes away from campus grounds.
Central College was founded in 1853 by a group of Netherlands pioneers that migrated to Iowa with the intention of escaping the religious tyranny of their homeland. Establish before the Civil War, Central College has witnessed the changing times first-hand, adapting to innovative ways of challenging students and providing a wider selection of course programs. The first class to study at Central College consisted of only 37 students in a two story building with three classrooms. Within the first 50 years, the school advanced and developed onto land donated by the founder of Pella, Domnie Pieter Scholte. The College is no stranger to destruction and rebuilding, suffering campus fires, wars and the Great Depression. However, with strength and determination, the school was able to push through with help from donations and loyal supporters to keep the educational realm safe and secure for students.
Central College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission as well as an active member of the North Central Association, the Iowa Department of Public Instruction and the National Association of Schools of Music.
By 1916, Central College was converted from Baptist leadership to the reform Church, which solidified the core values of Central’s educational style to reflect a strong academic community as well as a spiritually enriching one. The focus on education shifted to include focus on helping students to succeed as individuals as well. Curriculum began to include more professionally driven courses such as the Accounting and Business Management programs. By 1965, Central College had implemented an extensive international study and exchange program that allowed students the ability to travel abroad to optimize their education and college experience.
Campus life at Central College is based on satisfying one goal – helping students to succeed. All campus activities and organizations are centralized around building an encouraging community where students can find support wherever needed. This includes academic mentoring, spiritual guidance, health facilities and plenty of professional training to prepare them for life after graduation. The student body represents the majority of the states as well as over 15 foreign countries, adding to the diverse community on campus.
Students are encouraged to participate in the 80+ organizations and clubs that are run and operated by their peers and members of the Student Life staff that oversee safety and school regulations. Community service and civility is a solid part of campus life. Students work together to establish a positive impact on the surrounding communities, such as hosting fundraisers for local schools or running soup kitchens for the homeless. Many students also enjoy taking weekend trips to the surrounding communities for sightseeing and shopping adventures.
Central College offers several housing arrangements for students; over three quarters of the student body lives on campus. There are several residence halls designated to provide first year students with a comfortable atmosphere and support system to adjust to college life effectively. Other students take advantage of the apartment-style complexes located throughout campus grounds, and many students pledge for the various sorority and fraternity housing.
Paying for college can be quite an overwhelming experience for first year students and their families. The Office of Financial Aid is available to help answer any questions students may have about where to obtain funding and applications throughout the year. Many students utilize scholarship opportunities offered by Central College, however, all students are considered for merit-based funding upon admission. Athletic scholarships are available based on high school career stats. Many students also take advantage of the study abroad programs that enable students a secure way to pay for college expenses while opening up a realm of possibilities for themselves.
Central College has implemented an extensive work-study program to help students alleviate the cost of the college experience. Located in the prime business community of Iowa, Central College offers students a wide range of positions on and off campus, including those in some of the top internationally-based companies in the country. The professional experience gained through these positions enables students the potential to earn future internships and salaried positions upon graduation.