Parent and Family Information

Welcome to the Alpha Program at Western Michigan University

We are excited to have you and your students as part of our university community. It is our goal to work with you to help your students be successful in their first year at WMU.

Typical First-Year Concerns

Your students are entering a period of great change and development—no matter how mature or accomplished they are, college will challenge each student to develop further. Some typical issues that your students might face include the following.

Increased academic expectations: 

  • More stringent grading scale – a “C” is considered “passing,” not a “D.”
  • Exams will demand that students be able to apply knowledge instead of just memorizing. 
  • Most classes demand multiple hours of studying per week.

Difficulty in managing one’s time:

  • Less structure and more free time can lead to procrastination.
  • Assignments are too complex to be done “last minute."

Dealing with social pressures:

  • Increased freedom and the availability of alcohol and socializing
  • Being able to make healthy decisions and prioritize 

Being responsible for decisions:

  • Facing the consequences of their own decisions
  • Learning to solve problems on their own

Contacting the alpha program

We welcome calls and inquiries at any time. If your name is listed on the Alpha Program Contract, we can speak with you about your student’s academic progress to the extent that we are able. Please know that the contract only applies to us—not any other advisors, professors, or university staff who are prohibited by FERPA from revealing your student’s information. Also, students are responsible for monitoring their grades. We are able to monitor midterm and final grades, but not every exam, paper, or assignment.