The purpose of the Office of Success, Transition, Advising, and Retention Services (STARS) is to work in collaboration with the Division of Undergraduate Studies, Community College Relations and academic programs in the College of Liberal Arts to provide continuous, quality support for undergraduate and transfer students from matriculation to graduation. The goal of this comprehensive program is to increase student retention rates and persistence to graduation with a focus on academic success and achievement through early intervention and systematic tracking of undergraduate and transfer student. The Office of STARS is created after a thorough review of current advising practices in the College (see Academic Advising Summary Report) and the need to provide intentional coordinated services that will increase student success in the College of Liberal Arts.
Advising is still a primary responsibility within respective academic departments. However, College Advisors will work with students, faculty, staff, departments and administration to maintain and improve the quality of education in the College of Liberal Arts as a whole. College Advisors are committed to supporting each student in developing and implementing an individualized plan for academic success and career development. Specifically, College Advisors are committed to:
- Supporting the College of Liberal Arts and promoting the value of a liberal arts education;
- Supporting campus recruitment programs and providing information to prospective Liberal Arts majors and transfer students to assist them in making appropriate academic choices;
- Assisting students in monitoring their progress toward degree requirements through audits, course planning, and related administrative tasks in compliance with the College of Liberal Arts and Jackson State University policies and regulations;
- Fostering retention by encouraging student success and supporting those who expereince difficulty in the academic environment;
- Sharing and exchanging information, ideas and resources with departments, offices, administration and professional organizations to improve the quality of education and services for all students; and
- Continuously improving services through professional development, innovation and evaluation.
In addition, the Office of STARS is tasked to:
- Represent CLA during university-wide recruitment events on campus and in the community;
- Provide direction and assistance to CLA departmental and transfer advisors during university-wide advising and pre-registration events;
- Provide academic monitoring for first-time first-year and transfer students who are admitted with a conditional status;
- Track and follow-up with student registration, withdrawals, and stop-outs;
- Assist faculty with interventions for students performing below expectations (early alert system); and
- Refer students to academic support resources (disability services, testing center, career development, counseling services) across campus and following up with those students.
Office of STARS Staff
Two full-time college advisors, Len Jefferson and Courtney Brookins, are responsible for administering the CLA Uniform Advising Form processes for student advisement, degree audits, and graduation evaluation. Jefferson and Brookins are also charged with representing the College at on-campus and off-campus recruitment venues.
Trollars Moore was hired as a retention and compliance coordinator. As part of a pilot program, Moore is specifically charged to work with the Department of Music to monitor academic progress and class attendance. To that end, GradesFirst was introduced. The web-based student performance monitoring system provides automated student services and communication among faculty, students and advisors.
The project involves the marching band and music ensembles that spend a lot of time preparing and traveling for performances. Moore is the lead person to manage the reporting and interventions for more than 250 students.