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.


In 2010 Pasadena City College’s research office reported on a cohort of developmental education students who were tracked for six years. Findings revealed that almost 20% dropped out in their first year and that 65% had no discernible milestone. In 2011, in response to the dismal findings, PCC created PCC Pathways. Pathway program components include:

In 2009, Cañada College created the Math Jam to address the low level of math preparation of underrepresented students studying STEM, allowing students to “test out” of math courses. Initially the program was designed as an intensive math-placement preparation and has since evolved into a campus-wide math-success program, serving students in Pre-Algebra through Advanced Calculus.

Encuentro Hacia El Exito – Encounter to Excellence (ETE) has been designed to permanently increase the institution’s capacity to dramatically shift the number of freshmen students achieving success during their first two years.

Since Fall 2008, the MESA Program at Rio Hondo College has enabled disadvantaged students to prepare for and graduate from a four-year college or university with a calculus-based degree in STEM.

Math Jam program provides new students with an engaging, no-stress environment in which to experience success before they begin their fall math course. Collaborative activities, competitions, guest speakers, out-of-classroom activities, and community building help students feel comfortable in a college math class, understand the benefits of advisement and tutoring, and make friends with their teachers, classmates, and tutors.