Students get settled, Parents say goodbye
All a part of process, says Director of Student Success Leslie Glover
MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (August 16, 2002) – Students will arrive on campus this weekend to move into their residence halls, meet and greet friends, and prepare for classes to begin on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
Teams of upperclassmen will help new students and their families get settled in the dorms on Saturday. The day usually consists of a steady stream of boxes, clothes, and shopping bags going up and down flights of stairs and in and out of dorm rooms. Returning students are only too eager to help with the moving process as they meet new students and serve on orientation teams for the week.
On Saturday evening, college staff will lead two different sessions for new students and their parents. For new students, a session called “Out on Your Own” prepares them for the challenges and joys of their first year at college. Meanwhile, parents will receive a bittersweet lecture on “Letting them Grow” – a session designed to help parents make the college transition as their child leaves home to begin a new phase of life.
Director of Student Success Leslie Glover admits that while exciting and new, the process is sometimes difficult for everyone involved.
“You have to help them make that transition and sometimes all it takes is letting them know that they’re not alone and it’s normal to feel anxiety,” said Glover, who admits that she struggled as a freshman in college, too.
“I didn’t know what it meant to be ‘on my own’ as an independent adult. I liked dorm life, but it was challenging to share my living space with unfamiliar faces. And I didn’t have a clue about the academic process.”
Glover eventually figured out college life and went on to become a first generation college graduate. She later earned a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction/multicultural education. She now devotes her life to working with students in higher education. At Milligan, she leads the college’s student success program, which is funded by a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
“Student success encompasses everything from a student’s decision to attend Milligan, to physically coming to campus, and then ultimately graduating, and even beyond that,” said Glover, who oversees the freshmen mentoring program, a tutoring program, and helps with the new student orientation program, to name only a few of her endeavors.
“Student success, retention, and graduation rates are more than just ensuring that students receive a quality education, but that they develop as a total person, get involved, and develop a sense of community responsibility,” said Milligan’s academic dean, Mark Matson.
For Glover, a student success program is the best of three worlds. It involves enrollment management, student development, and academics.
“It’s all about ‘service excellence.’ It’s looking at and addressing academic and development needs of the students,” she said. “I’m daily out talking to students on campus to get their perspective on the big picture.”
Glover will be making the rounds on Saturday to meet new students and parents, and help put them both at ease. And she’s not the only one.
“Everybody at the college – the faculty, staff and administration – has a role to play in this process,” said Glover.
“Ultimately, though, it’s the students’ responsibility. They are the driving force behind their experience at Milligan.”
Glover tells students that they must get involved, they must attend class, and they must engage in the formal and informal community events at the college. She also tells them that they can do this and they can graduate.
“There’s an extra challenge to a liberal arts education. It’s academically tough here, but it can be done. And I’m a strong believer that any student can do it, but they must make an effort. And we’re here to help them all make the best of that effort.”
The coming week is full of advising sessions, orientation meetings, and social events planned to kick off the year for new and returning students, and help new students in their transition into the “Milligan community.”
A complete schedule of the week’s events is online athttp://www.milligan.edu/admissions/orientation2002.htm. For more information about the college’s student success program, contact Leslie Glover at 423.461.8981.
MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs. To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.