Andrew Plague

Andrew Plague

"I came to Grand Valley because it has everything that a big university offers, but it feels like a small university. I wanted to go somewhere where my professors knew my name and I could work one-on-one with them." - Andrew Plague, political science major Read More

Grand Valley Admissions

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Freshman Academy

The Oliver Wilson Freshman Academy Program is a comprehensive academic support program for students who have demonstrated a strong potential to be successful at Grand Valley State University. Participants are selected by the Admissions Office. The Freshman Academy Program works to increase retention and promote academic performance among its participants. This is accomplished by providing multi-dimensional support to students that can be broken down into two components: Academic Support and Personal Development.

Academic Support Components

  • Specialized General Education courses with learning communities: The program has several designated general education courses, taught by outstanding faculty. These courses have "built-in academic support" and because all the students in the designated section are Freshman Academy participants, there is a strong sense of peer to peer support.
  • Academic Advising: Each student is assigned an advisor with whom he/she meets on a regular basis. Together, they explore the student's interests, needs, academic goals and objectives, and develop an individualized plan to ensure academic and social success.
  • Study Skills Development: The program has study skills coaching to assist students in achieving their academic goals.
  • Specialized Tutoring/Study Groups: The program has mandatory study table on Tuesday nights with tutors and writing consultants readily available to help. The Tuesday night study table and designated sections creates a learning community in which students support each other.

Personal Development Components:

  • Engagement: The program fosters campus and community engagement by planning social and community service events.
  • Study Employment: The program offers a professional workshop series to assist students develop appropriate workplace skills. We also work closely with on-campus employers to secure employment for participants that are eligible for work study.
  • Other Support: We assess and refer students to other resources available on campus to assists them in achieving their ultimate goal of graduation.

Navigation Links

Prospective Students

Academic Success Institute

Student Profiles

Freshman Academy Staff


Admissions Office • 1 Campus Drive • Allendale MI 49401-9403
Phone (616) 331-2025 • 1-800-748-0246 •