Frequently Asked Questions

Orientation

Is orientation mandatory?
Yes. It is mandatory for all new freshmen to attend an orientation program, where they will take placement exams, meet with their academic advisors and register for classes.

How do I register for orientation?
Students should register online through GoWMU.

Will I meet my advisor at orientation?
Yes. You will meet the College of Education and Human Development academic advisors at orientation. Students who choose a minor or a teaching field outside of the College of Education and Human Development will have another advisor in that department, and you will meet with them in the fall.

Will I register for classes at orientation?
Yes. You will work with our advisors to register for all of your fall courses.

If I attend a later orientation session, will I get the classes I want?
Regardless of the orientation session you attend, our advisors will help you register for an appropriate schedule.

Registration

When do classes start and end?
The academic calendar gives all the important dates, including dropping classes for a full refund and University closures dates.

Who has access to my academic records?
Students’ academic records are protected under FERPA but you can grant access to a designated third party.

What are intellectual skills development or ISD classes?
These are enhancement or review classes that may be required based on your ACT or SAT test scores. Intellectual skills development classes don’t count toward graduation.

How many advisors do I actually have for my program at WMU?
It depends. Most students in a program leading to a secondary education teaching certificate have three advisors. One each for their major, minor, and graduation. Students in elementary education have only one advisor. Human development students may have two advisors, one in their major and one in their minor.

Will my advisor tell me what courses to take?
Yes. Your advisor is the one who will help you decide which courses you have to take.

Do I have to see an advisor?
In the beginning you should see your advisor, who will help you plan your schedule. Once you understand your program and general education requirements, you might decide to register for classes yourself.

What are the admissions requirements for programs leading to teacher certification?
For information about admissions requirements, go to our main page and select your teaching program. You will find admissions requirements linked from each teaching program page.

How do I declare or change my major?
To declare a major in the College of Education and Human Development, you must come to the advising office in 2421 Sangren Hall so that we can prepare your program guides and make sure you are on track.

Could I attain a double major or double degree?
Yes. But completing more than one major or degree will add additional requirements and will probably increase the time it takes you to graduate. Before you add the second major or degree, talk with the advisor in your first major.

If I don't like a class, may I drop it?
Yes, you may drop a class. The last day to drop or add classes is the end of the first five days of the semester for no academic penalty. If you withdraw after the first five days, you will have a “W”, an official withdrawal, on your grade report and transcript. This does not affect your grade point average. However, if you drop a class and are below 12 credit hours, it could cause problems with your financial aid, scholarships or health insurance.

What happens if I do poorly in a course and need to repeat it?
Your GPA is unique to every college or university you attend. If you do poorly in a course at WMU and need to repeat it, it is in your best interest to repeat it at WMU because when you do the new grade will replace the old grade in your GPA calculation. If you repeat the course at another college or university, the credit will transfer but it will not affect your WMU GPA in any way.

How do I qualify for the Dean’s List?
The Dean’s list is for students who receive a 3.5 to 3.89 GPA while taking 12 credit hours minimum. The President’s List is for students who receive a 3.9 and above GPA while taking 12 credit hours minimum.

Where do I sign up for the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification—Professional Readiness Exam #96 formerly Basic Skills Test?
Go to the MTTC website and register. Be sure to have your scores sent to WMU. This website also includes a study guide for the Professional Readiness Exam #96 formerly Basic Skills Test.

Is it bad to have a class that is a general education class taken as credit or no credit? As long as I pass it, it goes on my transcript, right?
Credit or no credit classes are not approved for a major or minor, but they would be ok for a class that only counts for general education. So, if it counts for both general education and your elementary education minor, then no, you can’t take it as credit or no credit.

Which classes require a pre-internship and who do I contact regarding other pre-internships?
Many of the classes (e.g., ED 3710 through 4500 and ED 3690) leading to a teaching certificate require a pre-internship prior to interning.

My work schedule changes a lot. Is there any way I can still take classes or get college credit?
There are ways to fit college credit into a busy schedule. WMU offers some online courses. To find out more, visit an advisor.

Why would I have to take non-credit courses?
If you do not have the basics in a certain subject, you may be required to take a course that does not give you credit for your major. You still receive credits for taking the course, but these will not count towards your credits for graduation.

Do I have to take a physical education course?
A health and well-being course is required by the university. Certain physical education courses fulfill area VIII requirements, although there are other courses that can be used to fulfill the area.

When do I get to register for my spring classes?
The majority of first-year students will register for the spring semester in October during the fall semester. Individual dates are based according to the number of credit hours earned prior to the fall semester. Some students will have advance registration at an earlier time due to practice schedules or needed accommodations.

How do I figure out my GPA?
To calculate your GPA, divide the quality points earned by the number of credit hours attempted.

How can I find out what classes I have left to take before I can graduate?
The best way to find out what classes you have to take before you graduate is to visit your advisor. In addition, you can check out Degree Works by logging into GoWMU and clicking on Degree Works under My Self Service on the Student Home tab.

Career exploration and academic help

I’m not sure what major to declare. How can I decide?
There are many resources to help you make a decision regarding your major. Exploratory advising offers a list of excellent resources for those who are undecided.

When must I make a decision about my major?
There is no deadline for choosing your major. However, many programs at WMU are highly sequential, therefore, if you don’t get started on your major right away, you could fall behind. Dietetics, Interior design, and physical and health education are three examples of highly sequential programs.

What if I want to change my major?
Students requesting major changes prior to orientation should contact undergraduate admissions at (269) 387-2000. After classes have begun, change your major by visiting the college with your desired major.

I am having trouble in some of my courses. Is there any place I can go for help?
Yes. There are plenty of people on campus that can help you. Your academic advisor can provide you with information, suggestions and referrals. Also, the Center for Academic Success Programs website lists all the support programs at WMU or stop by the first-year experience programs office.

Transfer

If I take a course at another college or university, what grade do I need to receive in order for it to transfer?
In order for a course to transfer from another college or university, you need to earn a "C" grade or better. However, your GPA is unique to every college or university you attend. Therefore, transfer courses do not affect your WMU GPA in anyway.

Will my WMU credits transfer to other colleges?
WMU credits will transfer to most colleges, however, it is always best to check on which credits will transfer.

I am planning to transfer to another four-year college. Is there anything special I need to do?
Talk with your new university to find out if all of your credits transfer.