Students in a Classroom - Student Services

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.

A key to success is identifying 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:

  • 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.
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.
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 on the second floor of the library. Is it too quiet? Try a group table in the library, SUB7, or the Grill. You can also reserve a study room in the library by clicking here.
    • 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 Student Success to discuss the best learning strategies for you.
  • Have Difficulty Taking Tests?
    • Do you know the material leading up to the exam, then blank when you sit down to take it? This is not uncommon. Talk with your mentor, advisor, or student success to discuss test taking strategies. The Counseling Center is also a great resource for help with test anxiety.
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?


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? You should also contact Disability Services for assistance in communicating with your professors and to discuss any possible temporary accommodations.


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.

  • Talk with a trusted friend, mentor, Resident Assistant, or professor. The Milligan Community is filled with people to support you through the ups and downs of life.
  • Depression or other emotional problems: Milligan offers counseling resources for our students. For more information on the Milligan University Counseling Center, please click here.
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.
  • 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.
    • Go to Milligan Today to see what’s going on around campus and the community!
    • 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.

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.

Learn more about cost & aid at Milligan

Survival Tips for Success
  1. Make time management a priority
  2. Obtain, read, and refer to University Catalog.
  3. Be responsible for individual academic performance.
  4. Know where to get help (Hint: The Student Services 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 Services offerings are available to all undergraduate and graduate students.


The faculty and student relationships at Milligan are one of the our 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.

Tony Jones
Vice President for Student Development and Dean

Chase McGlamery
Director of Student Success & Disability Services

Brent Nipper
Director of Property & Risk Management (Campus Safety & Security)

Seeger's Steeple infant of a yellow sunset