DECATUR, Ill. – Changes are brewing on the third floor of Millikin University’s University Commons.
Not only does Millikin have a new Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Wallace Southerland, who took over for former VP of Student Affairs Raphaella Prange, but beginning with the 2023-24 academic year, Millikin’s Center for Academic and Professional Performance (CAPP) has been renamed the Student Success Center.
The Student Success Center will continue the CAPP’s mission to provide students with personal, academic and career support while fostering students’ resilience, confidence, academic success and social skills.
“The previous name was great, but I think there have been times when there were questions about what the Center for Academic and Professional Performance meant,” Millikin Dean of Student Success Carrie Pierson said. “I think the Student Success Center makes it very clear to everyone that it is a place that wants students to be as successful as possible.”
The Student Success Center works to ensure a successful college experience, positive personal development and post-graduation preparedness. All the services provided by the Student Success Center are free for students. Dean Pierson hopes that students know the benefits of the Student Success Center are available to students before needing academic assistance.
“I think sometimes people have thought that you come to the center when you are struggling. You can do that, but you can come here for all things related to success,” Dean Pierson said. “If you do poorly on a test, can you come here for support? Absolutely. But if you do fantastic on a test, we would love to celebrate that too and how could we utilize that student’s skills to help support other students. With the new name, I hope it will be clear what we are focused on.”
As the beginning of the academic year approaches on Monday, Aug. 21, the Student Success Center is already helping a group of first-year students start their Millikin experience on the right foot by hosting the EDGE (Excellence Developed Through Growth & Experience) Program. Students selected for EDGE complete an intensive course before the start of New Student Welcome Week that introduces them to the realities of the college classroom.
“We are focused on getting those first-year students off to a great start. We want to have a really good support system, and we want that first year to be really solid,” Dean Pierson said. “If we can provide a solid foundation in those first 16 weeks, that will help with our retention goals, which will also help our graduation goals.”