Alabama’s Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System, known as STARS, has saved students $1 billion in nearly 20 years, write John Schmidt and Mark Heinrich in a commentary on AL.com. Yet, STARS is “underfunded and in peril of collapsing.” Schmidt is senior vice chancellor of Troy University. Heinrich, is STARS chair and chancellor of the Alabama Community College System.
Before STARS, two-year college students in Alabama who wanted a university degree navigated in a virtual minefield of costly duplication and academic inefficiency. For example, standard English, math and biology courses taught at the two-year level were not accepted by most universities, resulting in students having to pay for costly credit hours to retake courses. If we suffer a repeat of this due to the collapse of STARS, the cost to Alabama college students will be steep.
STARS once had funds for 10 staffers they write. It’s down to two people.
STARS is a “good model for how to improve transfer,” said Stephen G. Katsinas, director of the Education Policy Center at the University of Alabama.