Founded in 1853, Central College of Pella, Iowa, is a private, residential four-year liberal arts college known for its academic rigor and strength in global experiential learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), sustainability education, athletics success and tradition, and leadership and service. Central continues to value its long-standing relationship with the Reformed Church in America. The college participates in NCAA Division III athletics and is a member of the Iowa Conference. Central is an active part of the Greater Des Moines region and just two minutes from Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake.
About the college:
At Central, curiosity is met with challenge and exploration yields self-discovery. Students focus on hands-on learning experiences and expand their worlds through service and internship opportunities, research projects with faculty and work-study positions. Central also actively supports off-campus study-abroad programs around the world as part of our commitment to global experiential learning and well over half of Central students study internationally prior to graduation.
The Central College academic community is dedicated to educating undergraduate students. Approximately 100 faculty and 300 staff members, full- and part-time, serve more than 1,300 undergraduates, who hail from Iowa, 26 other states, the District of Columbia, and nine countries around the world. The power of the Central global network through alumni, parents, donors, and corporate partners brings significant opportunities for the college and its students. Over 70 academic programs of study are offered to undergraduates, in addition to integrated interdisciplinary studies student-designed majors.
The campus culture is one of engagement. Half of the students participate in intercollegiate athletics. Central is in the NCAA Division III and a member the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (IIAC). Of current students, 26% are enrolled in a fine arts course (art, music or theatre). The Mills Gallery showcases art exhibitions throughout the year, including student exhibits in the spring. Theatre programs involve students in every facet of stage production with a handful of major productions annually. A wide range of campus life and student leadership opportunities attract students in large numbers. Over 100 student organizations and clubs enjoy robust student involvement at Central.
Central College is a residential liberal arts college dedicated to helping students discover and develop their greatest potential. Guided by its ecumenical Christian tradition, the college community engages in vigorous, open inquiry in pursuit of academic excellence.
The College nurtures the development of the mind, while fostering spiritual and emotional maturity and physical well-being. Central integrates career preparation with the development of values essential to responsible citizenship, empowering graduates for effective service in local, national and international communities.
Just two minutes from Lake Red Rock, Iowa’s largest lake, the community of Pella is home to corporate headquarters of international companies such as Vermeer Corporation, Pella Corporation (Pella Windows and Doors), and Precision Pulley and Idler, Inc. (PPI). Pella is a thriving community of 10,350 residents, famous for its annual Tulip Time festival which is held each May.
While located in Pella, Central is also an active part of the Greater Des Moines region – a region ranked No. 1 for Metro with the Most Community Pride (Gallup, 2015), No. 2 in Top 10 U.S. Cities to Land Work (NBC News, 2015), No. 2 in Best Cities for Jobs 2015 (Forbes), No. 1 for America’s best cities for young professionals (Forbes, 2014) and has earned dozens of other top rankings as well. The college and the Pella community are both members of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a regional economic and community development organization.
Central College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of:
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- State of Iowa Board of Education
- Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Educators
- National Association of Schools of Music
- American Chemical Society