Early Start Programs

The transition from high school to college is a major step. CMU's Early Start Programs (ESP) are designed to give first-time traditional students valuable knowledge about their college journey. 

There are three tracks in the Early Start Program: Full, Compass and GOALS — more information on each track is available below. Students will be automatically placed into a track based on their admission level. If you are not sure of your admission level, please contact your admissions counselor or the Admissions Office.

Full Track

Taught by CMU faculty, the Full Track is designed to give students a better understanding of the skills needed to be successful in college, such as study skills, test-taking strategies and time management techniques. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet your Mavily and learn how to navigate campus before the semester start. Participants will earn two credit hours by completing the UNIV 101 course. For more information, visit the Early Start website.

Compass Track

We highly encourage Compass Program students to take advantage of this opportunity to delve into their next steps as a Maverick. By participating in the Compass Track, you will complete the required UNIV 100 course (one-credit) during your early arrival. If you choose not to participate in the ESP Compass Track and you are a Compass Program student, you will complete the full UNIV 100 course, weekly, during your first semester at CMU. For more information, visit the Early Start website.


The GOALS Track is centered around academic preparedness, team building and life success skills. Activities encompassing this week include success planning, connecting with current GOALS students and immersing yourself in the Grand Junction community. After the initial group meeting on Sunday, the GOALS Track will meet Monday-Friday for programming that does not include a class or textbook. For more information, visit the Early Start website.