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About STAR

The primary goal of UHD’s Student Transition and Retention (STAR) Program is to collaborate with UHD departments and programs to strengthen student support systems for first-year, first generation college students thereby increasing achievement, persistence and graduation rates.   The STAR Program is funded through a five-year Title V grant from the Hispanic-Serving Institutions Division of the U.S. Department of Education. 

The STAR Program is comprised of three major components:

blue arrowSummer Fast Track Institute (Intense 3-Week TSI placement re-testing program)

blue arrowWelcome Institutes (Orientation)

blue arrowCollege Acculturation and Personal Success (CAPS) Program, which consist of the following subcomponents:

a) College Success Program
b) Supplemental Instruction (SI)/ Tutoring
c) Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) and Skills-type Workshops (face-to-face and online) with built-in incentives for completion
d) Mentoring (by faculty, staff, peer/ students) with built in incentives for completion
e) Engagement (membership in Gator PODS: co-curricular activity groups connecting students to UHD events/resources/activities).

University Management Team
UHD President-Dr. William Flores
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Christiana Birchak, Dean University College
Co-Principal Investigator’s:
Dr. Gene Preuss, Associate Professor-Social Sciences
Liza Alonzo, Asst. Dean of Students



    University of Houston Downtown
    One Main Street, 603 South
    Houston, TX  77002-01001

    Phone: 713-221-8940
    Fax:  713-226-5235

    Katrina Borders, Director, STAR Program

    Consuela M. Cooper, Coordinator, STAR Program
    Spencer D. McGuire, Coordinator, STAR Program

    Van Vo, Admin. Assistant II,
    STAR Program


STAR Partnerships

(Calendar & Events)


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Last updated or reviewed on 12/15/14

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