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

    What is the STAR Initiative?
    The STAR Initiative is an early alert and support program designed to identify students who may experience difficulties during their course work. The primary goal of the STAR Initiative is to provide preemptive academic support and wholistic care to students so they may achieve academic success.

    How does the STAR Initiative work?
    The STAR Initiative is coordinated by the Department of Student Affairs. The Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs 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 through the Student Support webpage.

    How do I submit a report?
    Reports can be submitted online via the Student Support webpage of the Maria College website or the MyMaria Faculty Portal. Simply select “File a Report” once accessed and you will be redirected to a Microsoft Form that can be completed from your computer or smart device. You may also request a link to the Reporting Form directly by emailing studentsupport@mariacollege.edu.

    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 and Opportunity Programs 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 and Opportunity Programs to schedule a Student Success Planning Session.

    What happens to the information gathered?
    All information reported to and gathered by the Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs will be kept on record in an individual STAR case file. These files are kept completely confidential and reviewed only with members of the STAR Case Management Team – the Assoc. Dean of Students, Pastoral Care Minister, Director of Counseling and Accessibility Services, and the Director of Academic Advisement – on a bi-weekly basis.

    What is a Student Success Planning 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 one or more of the following:

    1. Provides an overview of the STAR Initiative and introducing the student to all available resources on campus: Academic, Personal and Professional
    2. Complete a Student Success Survey and develop an Individualized Student Success Plan.
    3. Assists the student in identifying his or her Academic Advisor and encourages them to make contact for additional support.

    What happens after the Student Success Planning Session?
    The Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs 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 Student Success Planning 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.

    What is the best way to support the STAR Initiative as a faculty member?
    The best way for you to assist the STAR Initiative is to be mindful of your students and send in a report if you have a suspicion that they are facing obstacles impeding their chances of academic success. And, whenever possible, respond to requests for further information when they are received from the Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs in a timely fashion.

    Can I request an update on a student after filing a STAR report?
    Absolutely! Simply contact the Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs by phone (518-861-2502) or email (studentsupport@mariacollge.edu)

  • FAQ for Students

    What is the STAR Initiative?
    The STAR Initiative is an early alert and support program designed to identify students who may experience difficulties during their course work. The primary goal of the STAR Initiative is to provide preemptive academic support and wholistic care to students so they may achieve academic success.

    How does the STAR Initiative work?
    The STAR Initiative is coordinated by the Department of Student Affairs. The Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs 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 through the Student Support webpage.

    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 and Opportunity Programs will carefully review the provided information to determine if any action is necessary. This usually involves gathering more information from faculty and staff who are familiar with the you. If action is deemed necessary, you will be contacted by the Director to schedule a Student Success Planning Session.

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

    What is a Student Success Planning Session?
    This is a face-to-face meeting with the singular purpose of ascertaining what challenges are impeding your academic success and developing a practical strategy to overcome them. A typical meeting will involve one or more of the following:

    1.  Provides an overview of the STAR Initiative and introducing the student to all available resources on campus: Academic, Personal and Professional
    2. Complete a Student Success Survey and develop an Individualized Student Success Plan.
    3. Assists the student in identifying his or her Academic Advisor and encourages them to make contact for additional support.

    What happens after the Student Success Planning Session?
    The Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs will monitor your progress and contact you for a brief update on a bi-weekly basis. Once you have demonstrated significant academic progress, your case will be closed.

    Do I have to attend the Student Success Planning Session?
    No, the session is completely voluntary. However, it is strongly recommended that you attend as it is in your best interest. Planning 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 a Student Success Planning Session?
    Absolutely! This service is open to anyone. No referral is necessary. Simply contact Jon Coller-Takahashi, Director of Student Support and Opportunity Programs by phone (518-861-2502) or 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.