STARS committee sets agenda for 2014 Fall Semester

Valley College STARS hope to maintain helpful workshops and search for motivating guest speakers.

Byline: Zaida Diaz, Staff Writer

To begin the semester, the Strategic Team for the Advancement and Retention of Students (STARS) Committee held a meeting on Thursday at the library to discuss the steps they will take to continue supporting student academic achievement.

The committee began by reviewing their goals from the previous year. They concluded that they had given students the necessary tools to succeed by providing them with key information about college, as well as holding multiple workshops. However, they also recognized that there is always room for improvement and are working on ways to get more students involved.

“Students are encouraged to come to meetings because they offer a significant perspective,” Deborah Kaye, LAVC Professional Development Director and STARS Committee Chair said.

STARS has hosted a variety of events in the past; they have arranged seminars meant to educate students on balancing work and school and even group discussions where a panel of students share their secrets to success.

This fall, the STARS program will be holding similar events. “We really want to focus on faculty engaging in conversation with students,” Kaye said. “Our event, ‘Let’s Do Lunch’ last semester, for example, had a really good turn out, so we’re looking forward to doing that again.”

“Let’s Do Lunch” is typically held at the end of the semester, and students have the opportunity to connect with Valley College professors and faculty. It serves as a great networking tool.

The committee has begun setting possible dates for events and workshops this semester. It was granted $750 by the Associated Student Union (ASU) and intends on utilizing the money as a measure to sway guest speakers to come to Valley.

“It’s very difficult to get speakers to come on campus without any compensation, and rightfully so, but hopefully the money will be of some help,” Jonathan Saxon, Valley History professor and STARS Committee Member said.

STARS is also reaching out to former Monarchs and media contacts who might be willing to donate about an hour of their time to come speak to students. If students wish to voice any concerns or want to become involved with STARS’ efforts, they may contact Deborah Kaye at 818-947-2724 or attend the next meeting, which will be held on Oct. 2 at the Library & Academic Resource Center in room 200.

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