About the program
Students will have an assigned advisor, either Walter or Liz, who will help them throughout their first year. In the fall, students will receive an email from their advisor with a link to their calendar so that they can setup appointments, or they can stop by the Alpha Program office in Ellsworth Hall. Appointments are encouraged, as office hours will vary!
No, Alpha students are not on probation! Students are regularly admitted on the condition that they participate in the Alpha Program.
Student participation in the Alpha Program
Students invited to participate in the Alpha program possess potential for success in college, but also have high school GPA and/or ACT/SAT scores that are below the average of incoming first year students. The Alpha Program aims to provide support and access to resources during the critical first year of college.
Yes, your admission offer is contingent on your participation in the program.
Required classes for Alpha students
Students are required to take FYE 2100 (2 credits) in the fall and UNV 1030 (1 credit) in the spring. Additionally, all WMU students are required to take certain classes based on placement (determined by math, writing, and reading ACT scores and high school GPA). Placement in these classes is decided by admissions, not the Alpha Program.
FYE 2100 (2 credits, Fall semester) is a course designed to help students develop a sense of responsibility for their own education and learning. This seminar will introduce students to University resources and will provide support during the first semester of transition to the University. The FYE 2100 seminar will include weekly class meetings, sharing a common reading experience, a project-based assignment, written assignments, and attendance at selected University events.
UNV 1030 (1 credit, Spring semester) gives students the option of taking an in-class Leadership Development course or an outside the classroom Alpha Engagement course. Leadership students will learn about group development and leadership theories, and will improve their communication skills. In the Engagement course, students will increase their personal, social, and career awareness, and complete assignments designed to help them develop in these areas. Students who earn below a 2.0 in their fall semester will take UNV 1030: Academic Recovery, a course designed to help students remove the obstacles blocking their success.
Each first year student will have a dedicated peer mentor - a sophomore, junior, or senior student who was in the Alpha program in their freshman year, and has volunteered to help this year's freshman class adjust to college life. They attend Alpha Program events, work with students in their Alpha classes, help out during course advising, and, most importantly, are there for Alpha students when they need help. Mentors connect with first year students through email, text, phone, and social networking. First year students are encouraged to get together with their mentor to study, have lunch, or just hang out.
Yes, it's part of the conditions of admittance to WMU. Students should see Josh or Robyn if there are any issues with this requirement.
The Alpha Program contract is a written agreement between Exploratory Advising and the Alpha program, the student, and his or her parent(s) or guardian(s). All students wishing to participate in the Alpha program must return a signed copy of the Alpha contract to the Alpha Program Coordinator. The signed contract grants permission for the Program Coordinator to share information related to a student's academic progress with a parent or guardian.
The Alpha Contract is necessary for two reasons: First, it signifies the student's agreement to participate in the program. And second, it functions as a waiver allowing the program coordinator to share (otherwise confidential) academic information with a parent or guardian.