Chris Fries and Jim Gadzinski (ACAC) presented "Freshman Probation/College Transition Programs: Enhanced Academic Success and Retention of Probationary Admits" at the National Academic Advising Association region 5 conference in Milwaukee. They discussed Northern's 2001 implementation of mandatory block registrations for students admitted below admission standards into the freshman probation and college transitions programs. In addition to “blocked courses,” a key concept is a mandatory freshman seminar, in which a staff member serves as both the course instructor and academic adviser.
Prior to implementation, less than 6 percent of these students attained good standing after their first semester. Since 2001, each cohort has realized between 60-80 percent in good standing after only one semester. Retention of these students has also increased. Information gleaned from the program approach also helped staff develop and publish their own textbook, now used in all First Year Experience (FYE) sections at NMU.