Central College News

Creating Connections: The Common Reading Experience

Featured: Creating Connections: The Common Reading Experience

July 3, 2019

By Cooper Vittetoe ’21

Central College is known for many things. Its academic rigor, service learning, athletics and so much more. These are rooted in Central’s foundation on delivering a liberal arts education, which allows students to explore their passions and find what they truly want in a career and life after college. Central starts opening the minds of its students from the very beginning through the summer common reading book.

Every year, all first-year students take a Liberal Arts Seminar, or LAS class. These courses cover many varying topics from the role theatre and music play in social change, to sustainability efforts and everything in between. Regardless of class, all first-years are assigned a common reading book to read before they arrive at Central in the fall. This year’s book, “What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha, looks at the Flint, Michigan, water crisis and how a team of scientists and researchers uncovered this calamity. The common reading book is a vital introduction to the liberal arts education at Central.

For starters, the common reading book is something every student reads and discusses in their LAS class, regardless of the primary class subject. As a third-year Central student, I can tell you everyone has a different college experience, especially regarding classes. However, having one thing in common with all students, regardless of major or class schedule, gives everyone an immediate connection. Plus, the common reading book comes up in classes, conversations and elsewhere even after LAS classes are over!

Second, the common reading book is the first stepping stone to discovering what students may want in life. College is a transformative time for students, and at Central we encourage new students to explore different career paths, majors and figure out what it is they really want to get out of life. Students are encouraged to take an LAS class based on their interests. It can help with discovering new passions for things like music, art, history and so much more! Equally, the common reading book helps students understand more about the world around them, including issues they may not be aware of and what they can do to make a difference.

The common reading book is an important start to a Central education. It gives incoming students something to bond over and helps them to discover new ideas, issues and possibilities in the world around them. To the incoming Class of 2023, I hope you enjoy your common reading experience!


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About the Author

Cooper Vittetoe ’21Hi! My name is Cooper Vittetoe ’21. I was a communication studies major at Central College. I am originally from Waukee, Iowa, and I’m now a graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa pursuing my masters degree in postsecondary education: student affairs.

During my time at Central, I was a part of the A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers and held multiple work-study jobs all over campus. I truly loved my time at Central, and I hope you’ll make your best decision ever by coming to Central. Go Dutch!