Central College hosted a catered breakfast for us in a banquet room. It was very good! We then heard info from the admissions director about the school before we went on tours. Our admissions rep showed us around and we saw the beautiful campus and toured the library, classrooms, and listened to some instructors talk about their programs. Central Teacher Academy, computer science, physics and athletic training were described. I have to admit that it was a lot of sitting, and it didn’t get much from this part of the program. The athletic trainer did have us wrap each other’s wrists, so that did help to get me back on track. It is so much better to see the programs as we tour campus instead of having it told to us. A few of the main things I got from this visit: Students are encouraged to live on campus all 4 years, it is affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, they have no J or May term, and their alumni are connected all over the world to support one another. They also have a study abroad program that a large number of students take part in. It seemed like a very good school with a beautiful campus close to downtown, and I can see why many Urbandale students go to Central.
After leaving Pella, we travelled on to William Penn in Oskaloosa. Since this was the last stop, I found it the most difficult to really focus on. It was a private 4 year school, but the focus was more on vocational programs. I kept having to remind myself that it wasn’t a community college. We stayed in one building most of the time and saw programs in radio/TV/journalism/PR, industrial tech, and computers. I know many students go here to play sports, but we didn’t really discuss any other bachelor programs. After lunch, we went on a very quick tour to see the sports facilities and walk by housing and classrooms. It is a diverse campus with 16 countries represented, 1000 students 55% from Iowa, 4 residence halls, has a marching band, and is Quaker affiliated. I was disappointed that the less vocational aspects of the school weren’t touched on, since most of our students would not be going one of the vocational routes that were focused on that day.
We returned to DMACC that afternoon, and I personally learned a lot. I look forward to sharing first hand information with my students as they explore their post-secondary options.