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Student Success

The Office of Student Success is here to help you on your journey through college. We believe you have the ability to succeed. We want to help you succeed. But, what do you want? We realize that for many students, the road to college success can sometimes be challenging, with a variety of academic and non-academic obstacles. Overcoming these obstacles typically involves some basic steps:

  1. Identify strategies for overcoming the obstacles that stand in your way. What is keeping you from success at Milligan? What options do you have? What resources might help you in your quest?

    Academic ability or skills?

    Are you struggling academically? If so, the likely cause is related either to ability or background in your chosen field of study, study and/or testing skills needed to succeed, or effort. Try these resources:
    • Identify the source of your academic difficulties.
    • Talk to your professor.
      • As soon as you start feeling overwhelmed in a class, ask your professor for an appointment or visit your professor’s office during office hours.
      • A WORD TO THE WISE: Don’t wait until the day before a test or paper is due to say that you’re struggling. Stay in contact with the professor regularly.
    • Visit our Peer Tutors—free of charge.
      • These students have been in your shoes, quite literally, as they have completed the same courses you are taking. They will help you identify strategies for engaging the classroom materials.
    • Visit your Academic Advisor or Mentor.
      • These faculty and staff members are eager to see you succeed in school, and will provide you with good advice about how to pursue that success.
    • Participate in a study group.
      • You’ll find that your classmates have a lot of information to contribute, so find 1-2 students and set up a regular study time for your class.
      • A WORD TO THE WISE: Find students who perform better in the class than you do. They’ll have the knowledge to help boost your performance a level.
    • GPA Calculator
      • Many students are anxious to know what their term and cumulative GPAs will be at the end of the semester. Click here to learn how to calculate your GPA.

    Time management skills?

    Many students have a difficult time adjusting to the lack of imposed structure at college.

    • How much should I study?
      • A lot of students study for an hour per class per week and think that should be enough to pass the class. Unfortunately, college studies take a lot more work.
      • RULE OF THUMB: You should expect to put in about two hours per week outside of class for every hour you spend in class. So, if you’re enrolled in 15 hours of coursework, you should expect to spend about 30 hours per week studying outside of class.
    • How do I quit wasting my time?
      • Don’t worry, that’s a common question. Open our time management worksheet and fill in the following information:
        • Class times
        • Meal times
        • Practice times (athletic, theatre, music, etc.)
        • Scheduled study times—you get to choose the times. Just make sure you put in at least one, preferably two, hours per class meeting.
        • Make sure to schedule in some play time, too!
      • Have your mentor or advisor review your scheduler to make sure it seems reasonable.
    • How do I manage all my assignments?
      • There are a few methods for managing assignments—you’ll want to find the one that works best for you
        • Assignment worksheet. Use one worksheet per week and list all reading assignments, homework assignments, scheduled quizzes, projects, etc. If you have a big project or paper looming ahead, assign yourself small portions of the project each week in order to be prepared on the due date.
        • Organizer. You can purchase a calendar/organizer from the MC bookstore, office supplies stores, or general retail stores. Again, list all due dates.
        • Revise due dates. As professors make changes to assignments, list those changes on your organizer.
        • Success. The best part—scratch through assignments as you finish them! You’ll have a visible indicator that you’ve accomplished something and it will give you motivation to continue with the next project.
      • Talk to your advisor or mentor to make sure your system seems workable. He or she may have additional suggestions for you.
    • Time Management Resources

    Study skills and testing anxiety?

    Do you lack testing or study skills? Try a few of these options:

    • How do you learn? Different students have different learning styles.
      • Consider the times when you’ve earned good grades or studied in helpful ways. Replicate those study situations.
      • Consider the space where you study. Is there too much distraction? Try a carrel in the library or the Fireside Lounge (McMahon Student Center). Is it too quiet? Try a group table in the library, SUB7, or the Grill.
      • Treat yourself! Give yourself a goal to accomplish (“I’ll read for 30 minutes”), then give yourself a small treat—perhaps a walk around campus, a (SHORT) visit to a friend’s room, or a snack. Then start the process again!
      • Make an appointment with Heather Jackson to discuss the best learning strategies for you.
    • Have Difficulty Taking Tests?

    Health or emotional concerns?

    Can personal problems stand in the way of success? Of course. It happens all the time. Has it happened to you?

    Illness or Injury

    If your problems result from physical illness or injury, they may solve themselves as you return to health. However illness and injury can take quite a bite out of a semester. Have they caused you to miss too many classes and/or be unable to study? How should you handle this? Withdrawing from one or more courses might be your best option. Talk with your instructors. Explain your problem and ask where you stand. Do they think you can catch up? If so, what is involved? Are extra credit opportunities available? Should you consider a grade of Incomplete that you can make up later? Talk with your academic advisor and get his/her ideas as well. What classes are more important for you to finish now and which ones can wait?

    Emotional Difficulties

    It is not at all unusual for students to encounter a variety of emotional difficulties while adjusting to college life. In fact, we’d consider it unusual for you to encounter absolutely NO difficulties. And yes, we’re speaking to men and women alike. So, here are a few thoughts for consideration.

    • Roommate problems: Many students arrive at campus having never shared a room with a sibling, so adjusting to a shared room can be very interesting, to say the least. Here are some helpful hints:
      • Know your Resident Assistant: RAs are great resources when you’re having roommate difficulties. They’ve been trained to help you negotiate sticky situations, so take advantage of their expertise.
      • Keep the Lines of Communication Open: Keep talking with your roommate, both about difficulties in the room AND other daily occurrences in life. The moment you stop talking is the moment that you grant yourself permission to consider the other person less than a friend.
      • Talk to your Mentor: Your mentors have experienced the joys and pains of roommates—they’ll have great advice for you.
      • Visit your Resident Director: Their doors are always open.
      • Know that the end is in sight: Students are able to change roommates at the end of each semester if the situation warrants a change. So even if things are awful, remind yourself that you only have to endure for a few more short weeks.
    • Nothing to Do: Now, some of us had parents that would offer to find something for us to do when we were bored—usually it entailed housework! But don’t worry, we can help you find some other options.
      • Visit our campus activities page to find out about campus organizations. Then go to a meeting and see what’s going on!
      • Talk with your RA to see what residence hall activities are currently taking place.
      • Go to sports events and cheer on our Buffaloes!
      • Check out the service opportunities both on and off campus—contact the LINC office.
      • Get involved in Milligan Arts opportunities—theatre, musical ensembles, and more.
      • Find a shadowing opportunity to find out more about your field of choice. Visit the Career Development Office in the Institute for Servant Leadership.
    • Depression or other emotional problems: Milligan offers counseling resources for our students. Visit our health services webpage to make an appointment.

    Residence life or roommate issues?

    • Roommate problems: Many students arrive at campus having never shared a room with a sibling, so adjusting to a shared room can be very interesting, to say the least. Here are some helpful hints:
      • Know your Resident Assistant: RAs are great resources when you’re having roommate difficulties. They’ve been trained to help you negotiate sticky situations, so take advantage of their expertise.
      • Keep the Lines of Communication Open: Keep talking with your roommate, both about difficulties in the room AND other daily occurrences in life. The moment you stop talking is the moment that you grant yourself permission to consider the other person less than a friend.
      • Talk to your Mentor: Your mentors have experienced the joys and pains of roommates—they’ll have great advice for you.
      • Visit your Resident Director: Their doors are always open.
      • Know that the end is in sight: Students are able to change roommates at the end of each semester if the situation warrants a change. So even if things are awful, remind yourself that you only have to endure for a few more short weeks.
    • Nothing to Do: Now, some of us had parents that would offer to find something for us to do when we were bored—usually it entailed housework! But don’t worry, we can help you find some other options.
      • Visit our campus activities page to find out about campus organizations. Then go to a meeting and see what’s going on!
      • Talk with your RA to see what residence hall activities are currently taking place.
      • Go to sports events and cheer on our Buffaloes!
      • Check out the service opportunities both on and off campus—contact the LINC office.
      • Get involved in Milligan Arts opportunities—theatre, musical ensembles, and more.
      • Find a shadowing opportunity to find out more about your field of choice. Visit the Career Development Office in the Institute for Servant Leadership.

    Financial concerns?

    If you’re having a hard time dealing with your financial responsibilities, schedule an appointment with your financial aid counselor. They may be able to help you.

  2. Make a Commitment to Change. Problems do not vanish spontaneously. If you are driving into a ditch, closing your eyes and crossing your fingers will not help. You must slow down and turn the steering wheel. Will you do it? What do you really want?

Survival Tips for Success

  1. Make time management a priority
  2. Obtain, read, and refer to college Catalog.
  3. Be responsible for individual academic performance.
  4. Know where to get help (Hint: The Student Success Office)
  5. Build a support system away from home.
  6. Get to know administrators, faculty, and staff beyond the classroom.
  7. Apply for financial aid early and let it be an ongoing process until graduation.
  8. Establish boundaries with roommates.
  9. Get “connected” early. Get involved in extra-curricular activites, but know your limit.
  10. Use good judgment and have fun in college.

Student Success offerings are available to all undergraduate and graduate students.

Mentoring

The faculty and student relationships at Milligan are one of the college’s greatest resources for students. Our faculty are wholeheartedly committed to the development of our students—both in and out of class. Each year, we have a group of faculty and staff who commit to serving as mentors to entering students. These mentors are available for any questions students may have—please take advantage of their expertise!

At Milligan, you will be paired with a faculty or staff mentor, based on your academic interest. If you haven’t decided on a major yet, your mentor will help guide you through the core curriculum and career assessments to help you discern God’s call.

In addition to meeting regularly with your mentor on campus, mentors frequently have students over for dinner, games, movies, Bible studies, and often worship together. Your mentor will help you successfully navigate through your first year as a college student. From there, you will be ready to work closely with an academic advisor in your major, who will lead you through to your graduation.

 Meet the Mentors

Abner, JP 2011

Dr. John Paul Abner

Dr. Abner received his PhD from the University of Florida in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He co-mentors with his wife, Pam, and they have 3 kids, a horse, a pony, a dog, and a cat and lots of animal hair on all of their belongings. When he isn’t at Milligan, he works as one of 18 certified Parent Child Interaction Therapy Master Trainers in the world and he travels across the nation training therapists in PCIT.  He also consults with the East Tennessee Center of Excellence for Children in State custody where he is trying to help improve services to foster children by training area therapists in evidenced based interventions. He is an avid hiker, volleyball, and basketball player.

Alice Anthony

Originally from Memphis, Professor Alice Anthony completed her master of fine arts in photography at East Tennessee State University and has been teaching at Milligan since the fall of 1991. Alice has exhibited her photographs in over 20 states and was chosen to be a part of Reunion: an invitational exhibit of 100 art alumni as a part of the celebration of ETSU’s 100th anniversary. She and her husband Steve enjoy traveling and have visited many interesting places such as the Holy Land, British Isles, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Working with and mentoring students has been one of the greatest joys of her life.

Dr. Carolyn Carter

Dr. Carolyn Carter is completing her 30th year at Milligan College teaching in the area of Computer Information Systems and Computer Science. She finds teaching as enjoyable today as when she started. She is married to Milton Carter, who is the Site Coordinator and Community Outreach representative for Milligan’s Kingsport, TN location. Dr. Carter and her husband like to travel and have two spoiled Cocker Spaniels and a chunky Chihuahua.

Theresa Garbe

Ms. Garbe received a BA from Milligan in communications and humanities and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Emmanuel Christian Seminary. She has served as Milligan’s director of alumni relations since 1998 and teaches one section of Bible each semester. She is married to a wonderful man, also a Milligan grad, and is blessed with three active kids, ages 16, 14 and 10. When she isn’t at a meet or picking someone up from a rehearsal or lesson, she enjoys cooking, digging in the dirt and eating good chocolate—which you can always find in her office.

Kevin Harkey

Kevin is a native of Georgia, one of four siblings to graduate from Milligan. After graduating from Milligan, he earned a Masters in English education at Vanderbilt University. He spent over 25 years teaching, coaching, and administrating in high schools before returning to Milligan in 2002 to work in the office of Institutional Advancement as Assistant to the President, where he works with friends and alumni of the college who help fund student scholarships.

Kevin is married to his fantastic wife Carrie, whom he met at Milligan, and they enjoy gardening, reading, and roaming about the Appalachian Mountains. They really love schools and students, especially the Milligan variety.

They have two great kids and three wonderful grandkids — please ask them to tell you about them.

John Jackson

Dr. John Jackson and Mary Jackson

John and Mary Jackson met in high school band in Phoenix, Arizona. They moved across the United States pursuing ministry and educational opportunities, before settling in east Tennessee.

John received a PhD in Old Testament from Duke University. He will be for the first time, since coming to Milligan in 2005, not teaching freshmen Humanities in the Fall, but will be teaching all Bible courses, including Old and New Testament Survey and co-teaching “Religion and the Movies.”

Mary serves as Milligan’s research and instruction librarian (students will all get to know her in their composition courses) and is renowned for her baked goods, of which their students are the beneficiaries.

The Jacksons share a love of cooking and travel.

Diane Junker

Dr. Diane Junker

Hailing from Minnesota, Dr. Junker started off her college learning right here at Milligan, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She went on to receive her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and then a Master’s in Nursing from the University of Tennessee.

Her hobbies include cooking, sewing, decorating, and reading. Dr. Junker is the chair of the missions committee at First Christian Church in Johnson City where she also plays the organ. Dr. Junker was not able to join us this evening, but we thank Dr. Dick Lura for coming to spend time with her mentees and we also thank Karen Kelly who will guide them through registration tomorrow morning.

Jason Makowsky

Mr. Makowsky worked in education since 1997 at several different schools including roles in admissions, residence life and programming, international services, disability services, career and academic advising, and teaching communication courses. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in religious studies from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master of Education in college student affairs from Azusa Pacific University. He now serves as Director of Admissions for Milligan College.

Jason has been married to his college sweetheart, Melanie, for 18 years and has 2 sons and a daughter. Originally from Colorado, Jason is an avid hiker and naturalist, enjoys photography and movies (except romantic comedies), loves Indian food, and thrives on finding the perfect place to hang a hammock.

Jeff Miller

Dr. Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller grew up in Nebraska and remains a Cornhusker fan to this day. He has taught Bible and ministry at Milligan since 1999. Before that, he held youth and music ministries in Nebraska, Tennessee, and Colorado. His wife Dana is a children’s minister. They have two daughters—a Milligan grad and a Milligan student—and he will be a grandfather by the time school starts in the fall. He enjoys piano, racquetball, and hiking. Dr. Miller leads Milligan’s hiking group, The Buffalo Ramblers, and hopes you’ll soon take part in a mountain hike.

Dr. Lori Mills

Dr. Mills is a Milligan grad who went on to get her PhD. from the University of Louisville. She currently serves as Professor of Psychology and Counseling and is the Director of Milligan’s Master of Science in Counseling program. Dr. Mills spends her time trying to trying to survive as the only estrogen-based life form in her household of 5. Her family consists of her husband, Cort, and her sons Gibson, Cooper, and Camden. She loves reading, spending time with her family, and she loves sports of all kinds.

Bruce Montgomery

Dr. Bruce Montgomery

Bruce and his wife Carol have been mentoring students as a team for several years. They have been married 46 years as of June 9, and are proud parents of three children, and 9 grandchildren.

Bruce has his PhD in Interpersonal and Public Communication from Bowling Green State University, along with a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, he has taught in the Communications area at Milligan for 19 years. Bruce was in the pastoral ministry for 27 years before he joined the Milligan faculty. He has a strong interest in storytelling, and tells stories professionally as a performing member of the Jonesborough Storyteller’s Guild. He now serves part time as an Associate Minister at Colonial Heights Christian Church in Kingsport.

Mark Peacock

Mark Peacock

Mark Peacock received his Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University and has taught a variety of classes in the areas of Business and Pre-law classes at Milligan since 1998. In addition to teaching, Mr. Peacock is passionate about hiking and photography and on most weekends he can be found exploring this beautiful region with his dog ‘Blue’.

Carrie Swanay

Dr. Carrie Swanay

Graduating from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s in Communications/Broadcasting, and again from ETSU with a Master’s in Instructional Technology, and finally from Virginia Tech with a PhD in Instructional Technology with an emphasis in Digital media. She has been with Milligan for over 20 years.

Dr. Swanay loves working with all aspects of multimedia development and design, video production and editing. She serves as the chair for the area of performing, visual and communicative arts. She has been serving as a mentor for the past 10 years.

She has two rescued pugs (Eleanor and BB).

Dr. Ted Thomas

Professor Ted Thomas teaches German, Sophomore Humanities and European History. After undergraduate work at Pepperdine University in Southern California, and Heidelberg, Germany, he received his PhD from the University of Maryland.

As well as his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Thomas enjoys sponsoring Milligan College’s Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society, and leading Humanities Tours (2003, 2007, 2012). Dr. Thomas is also the man behind “Today in Milligan History.”

He and his wonderful wife Jane-Anne enjoy singing, entertaining students in their home, “working out” in the Wellness Center, and Barnes & Noble dates.

Brad Wallace

As Campus Minister, Brad coordinates Milligan’s Spiritual Formation Program, putting together chapel services and working with student groups like FCA, Vespers, and the Apostolos Missions Club.

He and his wife Chris have three kids, and on an extremely rare unoccupied afternoon you’re likely to find Brad up a mountain creek, trout fishing.

Dr. Michael Whitney

Professor Whitney hails from New Hampshire, and he completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Messiah College. He continued his education by earning a PhD in genetics from Penn State. Milligan was very pleased to welcome Dr. Whitney to campus in the Fall of 2008. He and his wife Keli, have four sons.

When he’s not in the classroom or with his family, you’ll find Dr. Whitney playing guitar, sports and video games. Dr. Whitney was not able to join us this evening, but we thank Dr. Nathanial Wentzel for stepping in to join us for dinner this evening and guide students through registration tomorrow.

Tutoring Schedule

The Spring 2015 tutoring schedule will be available in late January.

Staff