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Corps as a Student Organization or Club

INFRASTRUCTURE

The majority of STARS schools have implemented their STARS Leadership Corps as a student organization or club and therefore they follow the process that is required at their particular institution for implementing a student organization.  A common process is to determine your target audience, recruit students, and develop a Constitution.  Typical components of a STARS Constitution include the name, purpose or mission, membership, officers and advisor, function or operation, and finances. Below are examples of STARS student organizations and how they have structured their Corps:

Name of organization and constitution

  • NWFSC STARS Leadership Corps (NWFSC
  • STARS in STEM (CPCC
  • STARS Student Organization (NCSU, UNC Charlotte)
  • ACM Student Chapter at Hampton University (Hampton combines STARS with ACM)
  • DePauw STARS (DePauw)
  • STARS Leadership Corps (Winthrop

Eligibility of students

  • Open to all. (CPCC, UNC Charlotte, Winthrop – but concentration is on Computing-related majors)
  • Open to all. Typically CSC majors. Students must complete an online application that is reviewed by an in-house STARS council of involved grad students and team leads. The top students are then passed on to the academic advisor for final approval.  Approved applicants are full STARS members and will receive a stipend; those who didn't make it are offered the unpaid position of STARS volunteer and can help on all STARS projects.  (NCSU)
  • No limits on who would join ACM club, but most are computer majors.   STARS students must be Computer majors only, sophomores to graduate students. (Hampton)
  • Open to all undergraduate students who are CS majors. (DePauw, NWFSC)

Frequency of meetings

  • Once a week (DePauw, UNC Charlotte, Winthrop – or bi-weekly)
  • Twice a month (NWFCS)
  • Monthly as whole club (CPCC, Hampton)
  • Monthly with everyone in the STARS Organization. Each project team meets separately, usually bi-weekly.  Graduates meet their undergraduate mentees every week. Mentor/Mentees are typically on the same project team. (NCSU)

Advisor – Academic Liaisons

Stipends

  • Ten receive stipends, six in internship course (NWFSC)
  • Only Team Leads receive stipends (CPCC)
  • NCSU tries to provide all members with a stipend; depending on funds or level of involvement, stipends may vary.  For example, they have around 30 students each getting $200 per semester (with support from STARS and their own sponsors).  STARS volunteers do not receive a stipend but are given preference when applying the following year to be a full member. (NCSU)
  • Only STARS students receive stipends (Hampton).  Only core members receive stipends (DePauw)
  • No stipends are paid, although some officers are also Team Leads in the credit-bearing course and receive stipends (UNC Charlotte) 
  • Team Leaders, Evaluation Assistants, and strong contributors receive stipends (practice currently under review) (Winthrop)

RECRUITMENT

There are many ways to recruit students to the STARS Student organization.  Here are examples of effective recruitment practices used by STARS schools:

  • Promote STARS in classrooms, Student Services Center (robotics), Peer-programming, and campus events. (NWFSC)
  • Develop a special service-learning section of a programming course and hold college outreach events. (CPCC)
  • Host a recruiting event:  Current STARS members run a booth during "recruiting week" usually mid-March.  During Recruiting week we reserve the lobby from 11:00 to 2:00 each day and have two or three people at the "booth" to promote STARS. We also post flyers, posters, and other marketing materials.  A promotional email is sent out to the csc student list serve. Friends and students recommended by professors are additionally recruited through personal invitation (to Apply). (NCSU)
  • Invite new students to join the ACM club when they enter the department.  STARS students are selected by faculty members, either the Department Chair and/or Academic Liaison. STARS students are identified based on academic performance as well as their involvement in department activities. (Hampton)
  • Invite new students to attend meetings and participate in STARS activities as unpaid interns.  The top participants become STARS core members the following semester. (DePauw)
  • Promote STARS in introductory computing classes, through weekly meetings, and Week of Welcome (university-wide) events. (UNC Charlotte)
  • Promote STARS through word of mouth recommendations, Freshman orientation, student announcements in classes. (Winthrop)

PURPOSE OF MEETINGS

Student organization meetings include opportunities to learn (guest speakers, workshops), to plan outreach, and to build community (socialize, debrief on outreach). Examples of STARS meeting purposes at different institutions are below:

  • To discuss the mission of STARS and how it applies to the particular projects/outreach they are working on. (NWFSC)
  • To host outside speakers, introduce new members to team projects/leaders, inform club of upcoming outreach events. (CPCC)
  • Meeting notes are kept in the same google doc for all meetings (updated live at meeting in lieu of PowerPoint or other presentation). Minutes are then sent out via email mid-afternoon the next day. Outline of typical meeting:
    • 4:45-5:00pm people show up, eat pizza, socialize - communication and group bonding has been good for our program
    • 5:15pm members continue eating pizza, team leads begin meeting with announcements (volunteer opportunities, upcoming deadlines)
    • 5:30 we begin with real meeting items, house-keeping/business.  Voting on ideas, signing people up for recruiting booth, arranging travel, members’ announcements, or if any project needs support in some way, reviewing resumes or posters. This portion varies.
    • 6:30 a representative from each project team gives an update on their program, how their progressing, what sort of road blocks they've hit.  Another opportunity to express if they need additional help (man hours, creative thinking etc.).
    • 7:00 - go home (meetings may end early depending on how much housekeeping and business needs to get done. (NCSU)
  • ACM meetings have included:
    • Informational Meetings -- when ACM hosts the meeting where we have invited speakers (academia or industry)
    • Workshops -- ACM club organizes a resume workshop, REU application workshop, etc., where upper-level class students helped lower-level, especially incoming freshmen to develop their resumes and/or complete their REU/summer internship applications. (Hampton)
  • Meetings are organized by projects.  Project leaders discuss progress, plan new events, or assess old events. (DePauw)
  • Discuss upcoming events and concentrate on outreach/projects. (UNC Charlotte, Winthrop)

LEADERSHIP PROJECTS – examples of Community-based

Local K-12 STEM initiatives; elementary, middle, and high school outreach; local businesses (industry shadowing and internship programs)

LEADERSHIP PROJECTS – examples of Peer-based

Student Services Center demos, peer tutoring, pair programming teaching, Feed Your Brain technical talks, mentoring, outreach to college women who are not majors, robotics competitions among peers

INSIGHTS

  • Use a special section of CIS1940 as the STARS Alliance Internship. Students gain credit for study and mentoring. (NWFSC)
  • Creating a special service-learning section of introductory programming course where students are required to participate in ongoing STARS projects has been a tremendous success. (CPCC)
  • We offer research opportunities to our undergrads, and promote internships and co-ops (those who've graduated from the STARS program let us know of positions available).  We also have an end-of-year banquet where we invite all of our community partners and sponsors to come and chat with us and see our posters and project results.  Insights: we keep a STARS calendar that the team leads update with all of their program events. This makes it easy to see who is doing what when.  We also have biweekly blogs that STARS members complete either reflecting on a given topic/article or a project update/goals and progress. Currently team leads provide a topic, but it would be easier if someone else provided a topic every now and then. We had 95 blog posts in the fall semester! (NCSU)
  • Students seem more engaged when working together on a project. (UNC Charlotte)
  • We are continuing to work on our marketing and communication skills. We are weak here and this seems to be a very important skill required to run an organization (Winthrop)

RESOURCES

How To Get Involved

Sponsor a STARS Corps Student

Does your company or organization want to help further the impact STARS is making on women and minorities involved in computing? If so, we have multiple opportunities to partner with STARS!

Participate in the STARS Celebration

Join us for our annual leadership conference highlighting the achievements of our STARS Corps students and schools. Speakers, panelists, sponsors, community partners and general attendees are welcome!

Adopt the STARS Leadership Corps Model

The Corps is a curricular or co-curricular service-learning program that fosters student-led regional engagement. Find out how your institution can become part of STARS today!

Find a STARS partner near you

Community partners are vital to the mission of STARS. If you are currently implementing K-12 outreach and service learning, learn how STARS students can help implement your existing programs.

Join the STARS Online Community

Looking for unique resources or individuals to connect on great civic projects? Join our STARS Online community or visit the Digital Library for best practices and shared resources.

 

STARS Participant Schools