Freshman Probation

classroomThe Freshman Probation Program was created at Northern Michigan University to provide support and assistance to college students who have entered the institution on probation -- in simpler terms, the program provides the structure that any student needs to be successful in college. Students admitted to NMU with fewer than 12 college credit hours, and a high school GPA of less than 2.25 or an ACT score less than 19, are placed on freshman probation. Students remain on freshman probation until they have attained a 2.00 GPA in 12 credits of 100-level or higher courses.

Freshman Probation (FP) students are placed in a "block" of courses with 12-14 credit hours for their first semester. Typically the courses fulfill liberal studies requirements (for more information, go to the Academic and Career Advisement Center's page) and/or general elective credit. The concept behind the block is to have the same 20-25 students take the same courses together to help support each other, form study groups, etc. The block is held together by the two-credit UN 100 course: Freshman Seminar, a support course designed to introduce students to success in college. The instructor of this course also will serve as the enrolled students' academic adviser.

Sample Block (14 credit hours)

Class Credits Satisfies
UN 100: Freshman Seminar 2-credit hours General elective credit
EN 110: Good Books 4-credit hours Liberal studies humanities credit
PS 101: Introduction to Political Science 4-credit hours Liberal studies social sciences credit
CIS 110: Principles of Computer
Information Systems
4-credit hours Liberal studies formal communications credit

 

Success of the Program

Review of the program has demonstrated that probation block students out perform non-block students in both grade point average and return rates (retention).

Students in FP blocks who attained good standing after only one semester: 69.0 percent. Students not in FP blocks who attained good standing after only one semester: 52.2 percent.

Students in FP blocks who returned for a second semester: 81.0 percent. Students not in FP blocks who attained good standing after only one semester: 64.5 percent.

Based on this type of success, it was determined that all FP students would participate in a block.