STAR program helps new students start successfully

June 28, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — More than 6,000 incoming students and about 12,000 of their friends and family members will visit Purdue during the next four weeks to prepare for a successful first year as part of the Summer Transition, Advising and Registration (STAR) program.

"This one-day mandatory program for all domestic new freshman and transfer students really helps set the tone for the start of their college experience," said Andrew K. Koch, director of the Student Access, Transition and Success Programs department. "Achieving student success begins before the school year begins, and this program provides students an opportunity to accomplish tasks and receive advice directly correlated with a successful first year at Purdue."

This is the second year that STAR is mandatory for domestic new students. The policy change was enacted because of the successful outcomes associated with participation in the program. Students who participated in the summer advising and registration program in the past have a one year-retention rate that is more than 8 percentage points higher than non-participants.

Summer Transition, Advising and Registration, runs through July 15, with varying dates based on the college, school or academic program to which students have been admitted. During the program, students garner information and materials needed for the fall semester, meet with an academic adviser, visit a residence hall and register for their fall classes.

In addition to learning more about academic programs and registering for classes, students and their families also attend sessions about financial aid and paying for college, acquire their student identification cards and even reserve books for their fall courses.

An optional overnight experience in the residence halls also is available this year.

"More than half of the students and families responding to last year's program survey shared that they stayed overnight, and half of these respondents said they would have stayed in a residence hall had that option existed," said Daniel Carpenter, associate director of Student Access, Transition and Success Programs. "We collaborated with Housing and Food Services to make that possible this year, as well as the opportunity to eat in one of the dining courts."

Each student also will receive a copy of the "Kite Runner," the 2010 Common Reading book selection. This program, in its second year, helps new students adjust to the university by providing them a common academic experience. The book will be used during the popular freshman orientation program Boiler Gold Rush, as well in a number of classes.

The Summer Transition, Advising and Registrations program is organized by Purdue's Student Access, Transition and Success Programs department. In addition, an array of Purdue academic and administrative units play an active role in the STAR program including all of Purdue’s colleges, schools and academic programs, the Office of Admissions, the Office of the Bursar, the Office of the Dean of Students, the Division of Financial Aid, the Office of the Registrar, and University Residences. Follett's and University bookstores are sponsoring family lounges to provide family members a place to wait while their students use the registration labs.

STAR is the first of Purdue’s two-part, large-scale orientation efforts. The second part is Boiler Gold Rush, also known as BGR, which is Aug. 14-18 and serves as the official kick-off to the first-year experience for freshmen and transfers at Purdue. More information on both orientation programs can be found at http://www.purdue.edu/sats 

Writer:  Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources:  Andrew K. Koch, 765-494-2451, akkoch@purdue.edu

                  Daniel Carpenter, 765-494-8507, dwcarpen@purdue.edu