STARS guide transfer students

Hannah Hartline
Troy University offers resources to help students who have transferred from community colleges, including assistance when a plan goes awry.
Chandni Patel, an accounting major from Andalusia, who was a senior in the spring, said that being a transfer student gave her multiple benefits.
“It was being able to have a high GPA, cost saving and being able to know what degree I wanted,” Patel said.
Patel said that the STARS guide helped her transfer all her credits because it told her what classes to take.
STARS stands for Statewide Transfer Articulation Reporting System and is managed by the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee, or AGSC.
She found out about the guide during high school and used it when choosing classes at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Alabama.
The state of Alabama passed legislation in 1994 that expanded Troy University’s transfer guide across the state. It mandated that all public institutions of higher education in the state abide by the new legislation allowing for students to transfer their credits to other universities.
This program is now STARS.
Since 1998, the STARS guide has been available online and has helped over 1 million students obtain official transfer guides from public Alabama universities.
In 2013-2014, the STARS guide was utilized by 86,000 transfer students. Approximately 500 of those students make their way to Troy University’s main campus annually, according to Community College Relations Coordinator Dendy Moseley.
“The STARS guide is great because it guarantees the students that their courses will transfer,” Moseley said. “That’s a big deal because when students are at a community college, they want to make sure that those credits will transfer.”
Keith Sessions, the executive director of AGSC/STARS, spoke about the importance of choosing a major when using the STARS guide to transfer.
“Try to stick to your major,” he said. “The more you change it, the more credits you can lose. The STARS guide is major-driven, so there’s an importance on deciding your major. The earlier you can focus on a career path, the easier it will be.”
Students can print multiple guides, but Sessions said that only one can be used to transfer under.
Some course transfers require a grade of C or higher. The course listing can be found in the Troy academic catalog, which is given to incoming students during IMPACT sessions.
Jasmine Philyaw, a communication major from Evergreen, Alabama, who was a junior in the spring, said that her transfer guide helped her, but it also presented a challenge.
Philyaw transferred from Faulkner University using the STARS guide, but she discovered that one of her classes had not transferred. She had taken a biology course listed on the STARS guide, but upon transferring found that it was listed under a different category with Troy.
“My adviser told me that as long as I followed the guide that everything should transfer, so I did,” Philyaw said. “But when I got to Troy at first, they tried to enroll me into a biology class that I had already taken at Faulkner.”
Philyaw went to a transfer recruiter for help, and was able to receive credit for the class after some paperwork. Philyaw encouraged students to go to advisers for help with transfer issues, saying that they helped her the most with her transfer process.
She also said that her one piece of advice for students would be to get involved on campus. She said that Troy University is the steppingstone to establish a student’s credibility and make connections that last well beyond the college years.
Each student should come to college with a plan and be open-minded to the ideas of others, according to Philyaw.
“Get involved, get involved, get involved,” Philyaw said. “Find organizations that you want to be a part of and that you are interested in, and figure out where you fit in. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.”
Philyaw said that becoming a resident assistant and getting involved with the Student Government Association helped her settle in at Troy.

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