Carrie Pierson, Dean Academic Support Services

  • Carrie Pierson

    Carrie Pierson has been working with students to ensure accessibility and accommodations since she came to Millikin University in 2007.

    Currently, Pierson serves as Dean of Academic Support Services for Millikin’s Student Success Center (formerly the Center for Academic & Professional Performance), which she describes as the academic support system for students outside of the classroom.

    At Millikin, the Student Success Center is devoted to delivering complete, wrap-around services to foster students’ resilience, confidence, academic success and social skills. The Center works to ensure a successful college experience, positive personal development and post-graduation preparedness. All services, from tutoring to supplemental instruction, are free for students, ensuring that accessibility is top of mind.

    To Pierson, accessibility means leveling the playing field for students and ensuring that everyone has the same chance to succeed at Millikin. This means providing accommodations to students for their academics, as well as every aspect of their lives on campus, from dining to mental health. Pierson said that the scope of accessibility and providing accommodations for students has changed drastically since she first came to Millikin and that she believes students are far more likely to ask for help now than in the past.

    “When I first came to Millikin, all of the accommodations were focused on learning disabilities, but now we are able to provide students with all kinds of services,” Pierson commented. Among the Student Success Center’s programs that promote accessibility is the EDGE Program, which offers additional opportunities and assistance to first-year students to help them adjust to college academics and campus living.

    An important role of the Center in its mission to ensure accessibility for students at Millikin is educating the campus community about accommodations.

    • We want to make sure that everybody gets what’s appropriate for them so that everybody can be successful. What equity looks like for me is different than what it looks like for someone else,
    — Carrie Pierson, Dean, Academic Support Services
  • “When it comes to accommodating our students, it isn’t a race and it definitely isn’t a sprint. We just want all of our students to end up at the same point.”

    The Student Success Center is located on the third floor of the University Commons and is open for students to make appointments, drop in for questions and get the help they need to make the most of their time at Millikin.

    “We are here to level the playing field for all of our students,” Pierson said.