STAR Initiative

Mission
The STAR Initiative serves to identify students who are facing academic, spiritual or personal challenges and direct each to the resources that will help them overcome such obstacles. Working in partnership with faculty, staff and members of the local community, the STAR Initiative strives to address the holistic needs of individual students, so they may realize their potential for academic and personal success.

Description
Rooted in the Maria College mission of transforming learned experience into caring service, this initiative allows faculty to communicate concerns about students who are facing known or potential barriers to academic success. All concerns are review by the Director of Student Support who serves as the primary coordinator for all academic interventions and liaises with the appropriate personnel on campus to ensure students are provided the necessary resources to progress through their chosen program.

  • Goals and Objectives
    • Increase overall retention rates of student population.
    • Improve persistence and completion rates.
    • Increase student awareness and utilization of support resources.
    • Increase communication among advisors, faculty and staff.
    • Improve coordination and effectiveness of academic intervention strategies.
    • Identify and implement new, evidenced-based strategies for student success.
    • Develop and maintain relations with external agencies and institutions which can provide students with additional care and support through referral.
  • Primary Functions
    •  Issue and analyze Student Intake surveys at Orientation events to identify students with known risk factors.
    • Coordinate with faculty and staff to provide appropriate academic intervention to students unable to achieve academic success.
    • Refer students to resources which will directly assist them in achieving their expressed academic and professional goals.
    • Track each student’s academic progress until risk factors have subsided.
    • Build and maintain accurate case files which include risk profiles and record of all interactions and attempts at intervention.
  • FAQ for Faculty

    How does the STAR Initiative work?

    The STAR Initiative is coordinated by the Office of Student Support. The Director of Student Support monitors the progress of all students and works directly with faculty and staff to identify students who are experiencing academic difficulties or other hardships. If a faculty or staff member is concerned about a student, he or she is encouraged to file a STAR report – see below.

    When should I file a report?

    The STAR Initiative aims to enhance student success and increase retention. Thus, STAR should be contacted if you are generally concerned about a student’s academic progress, pastoral need and/or overall well-being. The STAR program collaborates directly with the appropriate offices on campus to reduce the likelihood of academic failure and help the student access the resources they need to prosper as a member of the Maria College community.

    Example of issues to report:

    • Student is performing unsatisfactory in the course and is unresponsive to your individual assistance.
    • Student has multiple unexplained absences and/or consistent lateness.
    • Student expresses great difficulty in adapting to college life and/or meeting academic expectations in one or more courses.
    • Student indicates they are experiencing financial hardship.
    • Sudden drops in academic performance or changes in behavior.

    What if I file a STAR report on a student? Will they know?

    If a faculty or staff member files a STAR report, the Director of Student Support will carefully review the provided information to determine if any action is necessary. This usually involves gathering more information from other faculty and staff who are familiar with the student. If action is deemed necessary, the student will be contacted by the Director of Student Support to schedule an Academic Resource Review Session.

    What happens to the information gathered?

    All information reported to and gathered by the Director of Student Support will be kept on record in an individual STAR case file. These files are kept completely confidential and reviewed only with select members of the STAR Case Management Team – Drew Ledoux, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs; Sr. Chris Connolly, Minister of Pastoral Care; Kim Noakes, Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services – on a bi-weekly basis.

    What is an Academic Resource Review Session?

    This is a face-to-face meeting with the singular purpose of ascertaining what challenges are impeding the student’s academic success and developing a practical strategy to overcome them. A typical meeting will involve:

    1. Provides an overview of the STAR Initiative
    2. Outlines all potential local campus resources, which would be of benefit to the student (support services, study spaces, potential financial aid, etc.)
    3. Reviews potential external resources in the local community (childcare services, food pantries, legal advocacy, language services, etc.)
    4. Assists the student in developing a plan of action to overcome his or her current challenges.

    What happens after the Academic Resource Review Session?

    The Director of Student Support will monitor the student’s progress and make contact with him or her for a brief update on a bi-weekly basis. Once the student has demonstrated significant academic progress, his or her case will be closed.

    Do students have to attend the Academic Resource Review Session?

    No, the session is completely voluntary. However, it is strongly recommended that students attend as it is in their best interest. Review Sessions provide students with a unique opportunity to express their individual challenges and receive one-on-one assistance.

    Maria College offers a wide variety of resources on campus to assist students in a variety of ways. If the resource is not available on campus, the Office of Student Support will work with students to find an external agency or organization that directly addresses their needs.

    Can I request an update on a student after filing a STAR report?

    Absolutely! Simply contact the Director of Student Support by phone (518-861-2502) or email: studentsupport@mariacollge.edu

  • FAQ for Students

    How does STAR work?

    The STAR Initiative is coordinated by the Office of Student Support. The Director of Student Support monitors the progress of all students and works directly with faculty and staff to identify students who are experiencing academic difficulties or other hardships. If a faculty or staff member is concerned about a student, they are encouraged to file a report.

    What if a report is filed on me? Will I know?

    If a faculty or staff member files a STAR report, the Director of Student Support will carefully review the provided information to determine is any action is necessary. This usually involves gathering more information from faculty and staff who are familiar with the student. If action is deemed necessary, you will be contacted by the Director of Student Support to schedule an Academic Resource Review Session.

    What happens to the information gathered?

    All information reported to and gathered by the Director of Student Support will be kept on record in an individual STAR case file. These files are kept completely confidential and reviewed only with select members of the Department of Academic Affairs – The Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, the Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services, and the Minister of Pastoral Care – during bi-weekly case management meetings.

    What is an Academic Resource Review Session?

    This is a face-to-face meeting for the sole purpose of ascertaining what challenges are impeding the student’s academic success and developing a practical strategy to overcome them. A typical meeting will involve:

    1. Provides an overview of the STAR Initiative
    2. Outlines all potential local campus resources which would be of benefit to the student (support services, study spaces, potential financial aid, etc.)
    3. Reviews potential external resources in the local community (child care services, food pantries, legal advocacy, language services, etc.)
    4. Assists the student in developing a Student Success Plan.

    What happens after the Academic Resource Review Session?

    The Director of Student Support will monitor the student’s progress and make contact him or her for a brief update on a bi-weekly basis. Once the student has demonstrated significant academic progress, his or her case will be closed.

    Do I have to attend the Academic Resource Review Session?

    No, the session is completely voluntary. However, it is strongly recommended that students attend as it is in your best interest. Review Sessions provide students with a unique opportunity to express their individual challenges and receive one-on-one assistance. Maria College offers a wide variety of resources on campus to assist students in a variety of ways. If the resource is not available on campus, the Office of Student Support will work with students to find an external agency or organization that directly offer help.

    Can I request an Academic Resource Review Session?

    Absolutely! This service is open to anyone. No referral is necessary. Simply contact Jon Coller-Takahashi, Director of Student Support by phone: 518-861-2502 or via email: studentsupport@mariacollege.edu to schedule an appointment.

  • File a Report

    Please click here to access the STAR Reporting Form.  You will be notified that it was received within 48-hours of submission.  Please be as detailed as possible.