Freshman Probation Frequently Asked Questions

teacher in front of classWhat is the difference between Freshman Probation (FP) and the College Transitions Program (CTP)?
To be regularly-admitted to NMU, the Admissions Office looks for your ACT Composite Score to be a 19 or higher or your SAT Combined Score to be 980 or higher and your High School Grade Point Average to be 2.25 or higherIf your ACT/SAT score or your HSGPA are a bit below these standards, you would be admitted on FP.  If both your ACT/SAT score and your HSGPA are below the standards, you would be admitted on CTP.

How do I get off FP or CTP?
As soon as you complete 100-level courses and attain at least a 2.00 GPA, you will be placed in good standing and be free of FP or CTP.  At that time you will be free to enter any major, take courses of your choosing (with your adviser’s help, of course), etc.

Will I be successful?
That is completely up to you.  Our data shows that over 82% of FP and CTP students are able to return for a second semester (prior to establishing this program, less than 65% of FP/CTP students were able to return for a second semester).  Most FP and CTP students achieve good standing by the end of their first or second semester.  If you work hard, and accept our assistance, you have an excellent chance of being a successful college student.

What’s different about being a student on FP or CTP?
You will complete placement tests in composition and reading at Orientation, be placed in a required “block” of courses based on those placement test results, and your UN100 Freshman Seminar instructor will also serve as your academic adviser.  In addition, until you are free of probation, you may or may not be assigned to courses in your intended academic major.

What’s not different?
You will be enrolled in the same courses as other freshmen, you will be able to complete your degree on time, and you will be treated as a college student.  Therefore, you will be held accountable for your actions, have to step forward for help, not receive any guarantees, and be rewarded for your hard work (just like any other freshman).

Under what circumstances would I stay on FP or CTP after my first semester?
If you fail to earn a GPA of 2.00 (but more than 0.00) you will remain on probation.  Your overall NMU GPA will determine to which probation you will be assigned.  Regardless if on probation or not, you will still be able to be advised by the same adviser for your first year of school.

What happens if I do not earn the necessary grades to stay in school?
If you fail to earn more than a 0.00 GPA in your first semester (or fail to maintain specific probation standards if you remain on probation past your first semester), you will be academically suspended for one calendar year.  The length of the suspension may be appealed, but, unless there are extreme/unusual circumstances, you will not be able to attend NMU (or any other Michigan four-year school) for an entire year.

What is a “block” of courses?

We place up to 25 students in the same “block” of courses – typically a UN100 course (2 credits) and three Liberal Studies courses (4 credits each) – for a total of 14 credits.  We may, however, also place you in courses to strengthen your academic skills based on your placement test results.  By participating in a block, it is easy for students to get to know classmates, share notes, form study groups, etc.

When will I be placed in my block of courses?
We will not place you in your block until we have received the results of placement tests taken during Orientation.

May I substitute courses within my block?
Typically, no.  It would defeat the purpose of “blocking” students into the same courses if we started substituting.

May I add a course to my block?
Maybe.  If you’d like to add a one- or two-credit course, we may be able to accommodate your wishes.  We will definitely not add another three- or four-credit course to your schedule.

When may I take classes in my major?
We are quite confident that you will either attain academic good standing or remain at NMU after your first semester.  We, therefore, will work with you to register for courses in your major for your second semester.

Am I being punished for something?
Absolutely not.  FP and the CTP are support programs.  Being that we do not personally know you, or your study habits, all we can go on are the scores and HSGPA that we received.  Based on those scores, we made a determination that we may need to provide you with some extra help and/or support to ensure that you become successful in college.

Are FP and CTP students both on Freshman Probation?
Yes.  Other than how you were admitted, FP and CTP students are treated in the same fashion, including being admitted on FP, being placed in appropriate blocks, required GPA to attain good standing, etc.

Who may I contact if I have additional questions?
Mark Dellangelo - Director of FPCTP - 906-227-2283 or