Students Transitioning in Academics and Reaching Success (STARS)

Cabrillo College
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
Developmental Coursework,
Summer Bridge


The mission of the Students Transitioning in Academics and Reaching Success (STARS) First-Year Experience (FYE) program is to help and encourage students with multiple barriers to achieving their educational goals successfully. The main objective of the program is to set up structures that will guide students to success. Services such as learning communities, guided course sequences intended to provide the necessary foundation for progress toward educational goals, and utilizing supporting resources such as tutoring, financial aid, accommodations for learning disabilities when needed, etc. STARS also engages students with the college and a cohort of fellow students that will provide support and assistance throughout the challenges of higher education.

Program Description

The focus of the STARS program is to ensure that students who place at a developmental level in math and English upon entering college take these courses early. STARS faculty have found that students often postpone taking developmental courses and in turn do not have the required courses to transfer to four-year institutions. STARS also provides students a summer bridge program, college success class, and peer-led Supplemental Instruction (SI) for math courses. STARS has served over 230 participants since fall 2010 through its FYE cohorts and 305 participants have been served through the SI program. FYE cohorts were 85% Latino and SI cohorts were 74% Latino.


  • Students that attended 10 or more SI sessions during a semester had a 75% success rate in their math courses, vs. 47% success rate for non-SI.
  • Latino students enrolled in STARS were 47% more likely than Latino students not enrolled in the program to complete transfer-level English.
  • Latino students enrolled were 61% more likely to complete transfer-level math courses than Latino students not enrolled.
  • The overall success rate of the STARS cohorts is 76%.
  • The retention rate for the STARS program is 63%.

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