Academic Support

Great Start


Get your first year at the
University of Montevallo off to a Great Start!

Transitioning from high school to college is exciting. The prospect of freedom, meeting new friends, and experiencing college life is thrilling, but navigating an unfamiliar campus and not knowing what to expect from college-level classes and college life can be a little stressful. The Great Start Program is here to help! 

The Great Start Program (GSP) is a supportive, alternative-admission program designed to help first-year University of Montevallo 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.

Below are the different resources and opportunities Great Start has to offer.

One-on-One Academic Coaching
GSP participants will receive ongoing emotional support, one-on-one assistance on how to balance the demands of academics and college life, and create an academic plan of success. Topics discussed in academic coaching will include:

  • Time management
  • Improving studying skills
  • Overcoming procrastination
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Accessing campus resources
  • Understanding professors’ expectations

Student Success Workshops
The Great Start Program offers a variety of fun and interactive workshops throughout the year to assist participants in being successful inside and outside the classroom. Some of the workshops include:

  • It’s Real: College Students and Mental Health
  • Living in Integrity
  • How to Study and Get the Grades You Want
  • Stress Management and Self-care
  • Recognizing Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships
  • Preparing for Mid-terms and Final Exams
  • Career Assistance: Choosing a Major
  • Career Assistance: What can I do with my degree?

Falcon Study Hub
We want our GSP students to feel welcomed and experience a home-away-from-home. Located in the Falcon Success Center, the Falcon Study Hub is where GSP students can relax, study alone in a quiet area, study in groups, play games, and meet with friends. The Falcon Study Hub also has computer access, resources, and free printing.

Great Start Events & Outings
GSP students at an eventCollege is more than academics; college is also fun!  GSP students are encouraged to attend events and outings. Attending events and outings provide opportunities for GSP students to connect, have fun and make lasting friendships. Some events include GSP Meet and Greet, College Cooking on a Budget featuring a professional chef, College Colors Day, First Generation Week honoring amazing first-generation UM college students, and other events. As a group, Great Start students select off-campus outings they would like to attend.

Requirements for Great Start Participants

  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Register for 12-16 credit hours which includes English 101 and a suitable math course (the student’s academic advisor will help determine the correct math course to register for).  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).
  • Meet with the GS Program Coordinator to create an academic plan and personal pathway to success within the first two to three weeks of the first semester
  • Attend at least three (3) workshops and two (2) events throughout the fall and spring semesters offered by various partners, including the Falcon Success Center, Learning Enrichment Center (LEC), the Career Development Center, etc.
  • Achieve a 2.0 or higher GPA at the end of their first semester
  • Schedule an appointment to talk with the GS Program Coordinator if any academic problems or issues arise (i.e. low grades or test scores, difficulty keeping up in classes, etc.). Students should not be afraid to ask for help.