May 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Bulletin

Great Start Program

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Julean Kirkpatrick, Coordinator
Falcon Success Center
Van Tuyll House
(205) 665-6092

The Great Start Program (GSP) is a supportive, one-year program designed to offer alternative admission to first-year students whose overall academic profile is slightly below the criteria for unconditional admission. To support your success at the university, your admission is contingent upon your participation in Great Start. Please note that if your GPA or test scores improve, you may submit those documents to be considered for unconditional admission.  

GSP helps alternatively-admitted students successfully transition from high school to college, build a strong academic foundation, and tap into their full potential at UM. The main feature of this program is SUPPORT- -academically, emotionally, and socially.  

Benefits of the Great Start Program 

  • Access to the Falcon Study Hub in the Falcon Success Center 
  • One-on-one academic coaching 
  • Mentoring 
  • Student success workshops 
  • Guided major and career exploration 
  • GSP events and outings 

Requirements of the Great Start Program 

Students must complete and return the GSP Acceptance agreement to the GSP Coordinator, indicating their acceptance of alternative admission through Great Start. Students must agree to the following conditions as SGP participants: 

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

  • Attend New Student Orientation 

  • Register for 12-16 credit hours which includes ENG 101 and a suitable math course; the student’s academic advisor will help determine the correct math course for which to register 

  • Students are also strongly encouraged to register for UM 101 (First Year Experience) and English 100 (Composition Practicum - This course complements ENG 101; students meet one-on-one with the instructor of ENG 100 to address individual composition needs) 

  • Attend the mandatory mixer to meet other Great Start students 

  • Meet with the Great Start Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of classes to create a semester success plan and personal pathway to success  

  • Attend at least three (3) designated student success workshops and at least two (2) events throughout the fall and spring semesters offered by guest speakers and campus partners 

  • Achieve a 2.0 or higher GPA at the end of their first semester 

  • Schedule an appointment to talk with the Great Start Program Coordinator if experiencing any academic problems or issues (i.e. difficulty keeping up in class, low grades or test scores, missing assignments, poor class attendance, etc.) 

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