STARS @ Western
Student Transition, Achievement, Retention, Success.
At Western, STARS is a system of interrelated activities, initiatives, research projects and resources to improve students’ transition to university as well as retention in their course, progression from year to year and transition to employment, and back to further learning.
About STARS and the Transition and Retention Pedagogy project
Student Transition, Achievement, Retention and Success (STARS) is a community of practice that is driven by school-based STARS coordinators, and strengthened by partnerships with professional staff from the Library and Student Experience Office, DAPs, unit coordinators, and students-as-partners. To find out more about STARS at Western, click here.
Western also has a Transition and Retention Pedagogy (TaRP) project, which was established in 2018. While various divisions at Western focus on providing direct support to students, the role of the TaRP Working Party is to support academic staff to improve transition and retention in their units and courses. This support comes in many forms, including through professional development resources, and opportunities for peer-review and collaboration.
The development of this STARS Teach Toolkit is one such support mechanism for Western’s staff. The toolkit has been developed by the Learning Transformations team in collaboration with the TaRP Working Party and various other stakeholders. It is based on contemporary transition and retention pedagogy and takes a holistic approach to enhancing students’ learning experience and improve transition, retention and success. However, there is no simple recipe for how to do this, as there is no one answer to the challenges that students from diverse cohorts experience. No staff member can improve STARS on their own, but through the concerted efforts of all staff – academic and professional at all levels – we can make a difference.
As the diagram below suggests, transition and retention involves pedagogy, co-curriculum support, curriculum design, and learning and teaching practice. As such, STARS is everybody’s business.
By exploring this STARS Teach toolkit, critically reflecting on the suggestions and resources given, and adapting strategies and approaches relevant to your discipline, you are supporting STARS at Western.