Parent Guide to FYE

NMU Student and Parents

The First Year Experience program at NMU is a great opportunity for your child to make a successful start to a college career.  The First Year Experience is required for all first-time, full-time students.  The questions and answers below help address the most common questions that we receive from parents of incoming students.  Please reach out to the FYE staff if we can assist you with other questions: (906) 227-2971, or via email at


What is FYE?

All first-time full-time students participate in FYE.  FYE is a learning community initiative that helps students develop strategies to maximize academic success, become familiar with campus resources, and cultivate positive relationships with faculty and other students. FYE is designed to help all first-time full-time students successfully manage the transition to college.  To facilitate this, students are registered in “blocks” of courses related to their academic major.  Each block contains a UN 100 Freshman Seminar course.  In most cases, students share the same course schedule with about 20 other students in their UN 100 course; they have an immediate cohort of peers for study groups and getting connected to campus.

The idea is that participating in FYE will help first-semester students establish meaningful connections on campus and gain the skills that help them persist to graduation.

The block schedules are for the first semester only.  Subsequent semester schedules are determined by the student in collaboration with their academic adviser.



What is the UN 100 course?

UN 100 is the "core" of the FYE block.  The course examines academic planning, career exploration, skill development, campus and community resources, diversity appreciation, and social and academic expectations.  Typical UN 100 course content includes:

 Developmental content related to student success:

  • Differences between high school and college mindset
  • Study Skills (note-taking, time-management, etc.)
  • Career exploration and planning activities
  • Understanding Liberal Studies and the course registration process
  • Campus Technology overview (mynmu, EduCat, Help Desk)
  • Campus service/resource knowledge (DSO, ACAC, FAO, CCS, Registrar, etc.)
  • How to appropriately and effectively communicate with faculty and staff
  • Campus and community involvement opportunities
  • Rights and Responsibilities (Student Code)

 Presenters on a range of topics:

  • Diversity and Multicultural Awareness and Appreciation (MERC)
  • Sexual Assault Awareness (HPO)
  • Center for Student Enrichment (CSE)
  • Financial Aid and Financial Literacy (Financial Aid Office)
  • Invent at NMU
  • External presenters related to the academic area (Community members)

 Peer-led programming and discussions:

  • VAWA and Bystander Effect
  • Library Instruction
  • Appropriate out-of-class activities
  • Lake Superior Safety and Awareness
  • Active Shooter Awareness


  • Opportunity for students to share their concerns and experiences, and  to express their opinions
  • An emphasis on problem-solving vs. complaining
  • Academic Service Learning
  • Written assignments (Month of Majors, Campus event, reflective pieces, etc.)
  • Students working together (Group projects and presentations)
  • Graded work
  • A classroom “feeling” of support and community (the first semester of college can be tough!)
  • Collaboration between the Instructor and the Teaching Assistant



Do Honors Program students participate in FYE?

Yes.  Students electing to participate in the Honors program are assigned an FYE block based on their intended academic major.  It is common for Honors students to add an honors program course to their FYE block schedule during orientation.  In most cases, the added honors program course replaces an established FYE block course. 


What is a “block” and how does block assignment work?

FYE blocks are pre-built course schedules.  Each FYE block is a combination of courses related to a student's academic major and liberal studies courses.  Students are assigned to a block based on their intended academic major (even if they are “undeclared”).  FYE blocks schedules are developed and reviewed in consultation with academic departments and professional advising staff.

FYE staff assign students to blocks after their orientation registration is confirmed (before the students arrive on campus for orientation).  Students are able to view their assigned block schedule once they attend orientation.  Some blocks will be full-time, complete schedules. Some blocks will only be partially complete, and require students to meet with departmental advisers to add courses appropriate to their intended academic major.  

Students finalize their course schedules during orientation.


What if your student has AP credit (or something similar)?

We will work with them!  We do not want them to duplicate coursework.  If they have received advanced placement credit of some sort, our general practice is to remove duplicate class(es) from their block schedule.  During orientation, they will work with an adviser to do this and to add an appropriate substitution.

NOTE: If we receive AP credit scores after your students has attended orientation, they should contact their academic adviser to adjust their schedule.  Generally speaking, they will add a different course to the schedule after consulting with their academic adviser.


Why do we pre-assign students a course schedule rather than letting them pick their own courses?

There are a number of reasons we make the block assignments for students: 

  • First-time students are often dissatisfied when given the opportunity to choose their own block/classes--they become overwhelmed with the amount of choices available, confused about which courses choose, and concerned that the choices they make are not ideal.  By removing the choice for students, we relieve the pressure of being responsible for making the "right" choices.
  • Many first-time students are unfamiliar with academic degree requirements, pre-requisite courses, and electives.  We remove the guesswork by providing every first-time full-time student with courses that, in most cases, will meet degree requirements and "count" regardless of whether their major changes or not. 
  • Block schedules are built by academic departments and professional advising staff.  This ensures that students take the most appropriate courses possible.


NMU Parent Website

NMU has a website created specifically for parents (click above).  Though not specifically related to FYE, it is a good source for information on a number of topics for future NMU parents.  There's even a newsletter!