Student Success Frequently Asked Questions

  • One-on-one advising from a professional Academic Success Coach who will assist with all aspects of your academic experience, including helping you successfully transition to college life, connect with campus resources, learn study skills, choose courses toward your bachelor's degree, and identify majors and careers.
  • One-on-one mentoring from a student Peer Academic Coach who will share their strategies for success, mentor you during your first year, and help you get off to a great start.
  • Extra guidance your first semester as you select courses.
  • Enrollment in UNIV 100–College Success Skills in your first semester and UNIV 104–Beyond College Success in your second semester to gain important skills for college and life.

In UNIV 100 College Success Skills (2 credits), students learn how to navigate the CMU campus, utilize campus resources, manage their time well, understand financial literacy, and use technology like D2L and MAVzone.  Topics also include reading college-level textbooks, memory, note-taking, test-taking, stress management, and communication skills. Students admitted in the fall semester can choose to take the first half of this course during the MVP program in the week before school starts or take the full course during their first semester. 

Students enroll in UNIV 104 Beyond College Success (1 credit) in their second semester at CMU.  This course focuses on developing student strengths, major/career goal setting, building connections to the CMU campus, honing learning strategies, and enhancing student personal and professional growth.  Students will have opportunities to connect with their academic department as they work toward transitioning to a bachelor's degree.  

​Both courses are taught by Academic Success Coaches and include Peer Academic Coaches sharing their successful study strategies.  They are great opportunities to start getting to know other CMU students.  PB students must pass these courses with a C or better within the first two attempts as a requirement to transition into a baccalaureate degree.

​Yes! These courses will count toward completed college-level credit hours and toward overall GPA. UNIV 100 is two credit hours in the first semester and UNIV 104 is one credit hour in the second semester.  Since these classes are college-level, they will count as elective credits toward graduation in any elective space available in a student's major.  

No, the PB program is not a pre-college program; it is an academic support program that allows students to take classes toward their bachelor's degree while receiving additional help from the Office of Student Success.  Students can enroll in a full semester of coursework in their first semester.   Depending on their test scores, students may start in all college-level classes or may start in preparatory courses in English and/or math.  If required, preparatory courses will not count for graduation requirements for a bachelor's degree, but they will help students be more successful at CMU in their other classes.

Our students' schedules will look relatively the same as a baccalaureate student schedule. The UNIV classes are required for all of our students, but students will still be in the appropriate math, English and necessary courses for their major - just like any bachelor’s degree student.  The Office of Student Success just provides additional support along the way in the form of study skills help, peer mentoring, and regular meetings with an Academic Success Coach. 

Students cannot take fully online classes in their first semester at CMU because we have found that students are more successful when they take in-person classes to start. However, students can enroll in hybrid courses.  Hybrid classes are part online and part in-person. Students wanting to test the online learning environment can choose to enroll in a hybrid course in their first semester to see if online learning will be a good fit for them.  After the first semester, students can choose to take a fully online class. 

The amount of credits students take in their first semester depends upon their placement test scores.  Students who start at CMU with test scores placing them into college-level English courses can take up to 15 credits in their first semester.  Students scoring into preparatory English are limited to 12-13 credits in their first semester only and they can take up to 15 credits if they enroll in a course that comes with extra academic support. Most college classes require a great deal of reading and writing so we want to give students the opportunity to build their skill levels in those areas before taking on more difficult coursework. 

MVP is designed specifically for Provisional Baccalaureate students with the Office of Student Success. Both MVP and FYI are early start programs in the fall that allow students to start taking a class before the start of the regular semester. Both programs provide many opportunities for students to meet other people on campus and get to know the resources available to assist them. 

The MVP program gives students the ability to complete half of UNIV 100 College Success Skills in the week before the start of the fall semester. The rest of the course will be completed for an hour a week during the fall semester.  This class is taught by the Academic Success Coach who will be working with them and acting as their academic advisor throughout their first year. MVP requires a half day of class work and provides students a half day of time to work on group projects and participate in other activities on campus. It is a great opportunity to meet other students and start getting to know their Coach and the campus. 

PB students must meet with their Academic Success Coach before registering for classes or before they can change their schedule. This hold is to ensure students are taking an appropriate amount of credit hours and that courses being taken match the student's declared degree requirements.  Coaches are here to help students make good decisions about their class schedules.  If you need assistance in registering for classes or changing your schedule, please contact the Office of Student Success in person in Albers 106, by phone at 970-248-1340 or by email at Don't forget to use your CMU email account when communicating by email.  

Being admitted as a Provisional Baccalaureate student does NOT mean a student is on academic probation.  Being in the PB program just means a student doesn’t quite meet the admission requirements for a bachelor’s degree at CMU so the Office of Student Success provides some additional support for them. 

Academic probation means that a student failed to meet the GPA standards to stay in good standing with CMU after attending one or more semesters.  Students on probation must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher in the semester they are on probation in order to avoid academic suspension. 

Graduating in four years is absolutely still possible in the PB Program!  It's important to do well in all courses each semester and take classes that count toward the major of their choice.  All PB students are required to meet with their Academic Success Coach prior to registration every semester they are in the PB program to help plan what classes they should be taking.   

Students need to enroll in around 15 college-level credits a semester to stay on a 4-year graduation track.  The Office of Student Success encourages students to start strong in their first semester to build confidence in their success so not every student may be advised to take 15 credits right away depending on their individual situation.  Additional credits could be made up in summer sessions, over the January term, or by taking more credits in future semesters. 

Students who need to take preparatory courses in math or English based on placement tests will have a few extra courses they need to take on top of those required for graduation. Changing majors can also impact time to graduation.  Due to work schedules, affordability, academic rigor or time commitments outside of school, some students may choose to take around 12 credits each semester (just enough to be full-time students) and will usually take longer to graduate.  Coaches discuss options and credit hours needed to graduate with students during registration meetings every semester. 

Time in the PB program is typically 2-3 semesters.  The length of time in the program depends on how many credit hours a student takes each semester, how many preparatory classes are needed, and the student’s cumulative GPA.  Students need to meet the following criteria to be eligible to transition to a bachelor’s degree:​

  1. Complete UNIV 100 and 104 with a C or higher
  2. Earn a 2.0 cumulative GPA at CMU
  3. Complete 24 college-level credit hours
  4. Complete or being eligible to enroll in college-level English and math

Students are offered the opportunity to meet with a Peer Academic Coach every other week throughout their first year.  Students will meet with Academic Success Coaches at least twice each semester to discuss study strategies, registration, and major/career exploration.  Coaches also check in with students anytime they are concerned about their success in a course.  These meetings are an expectation of the program, and many students find they are a great resource for getting questions answered. 

A Peer Academic Coach is a current junior or senior CMU student who meets with first-year students to provide additional support and guidance; during these meetings, the student and Peer Coach build on what is taught in UNIV 100/104 and assist students with study skills, getting involved on campus, motivation, organization, exploring majors, goal-setting, navigating CMU technology, and letting students know about other opportunities like studying abroad or how to start a resume or get an internship.  Peer Coaches are a great resource for students because they share first-hand experiences for how they have been successful at CMU. Some are even previous students from our program!