STARS Program

Student Training and Academic Retention (STARS) is a federally-funded program that aims to provide services that will increase retention, graduation and transfer rates from CT State Manchester for non-traditional students. STARS assists at every stage of undergraduate education, whether the student is deciding which courses to take in the first semester or wondering how to prepare for graduation and transfer to a four-year college/university. STARS advisors are committed to fostering an institutional environment that supports the endeavors of the STARS participants. We provide intensive academic, personal and career counseling to help program participants reach their goals. Students committed to achieving their educational goals will find great benefits in the STARS Program.

Note: STARS is a U.S. Department of Education TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) federally-funded program.


  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • First-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree)
    • Qualify for financial aid based on need ($0 EFC – Estimated Family Contribution)
    • Have a documented disability with CT State Manchestser
  • Have an academic need (determined by STARS Coordinator)

Easy Steps to Apply

Summer Program

In addition to the year-long services, the STARS pre-college summer program is a seven-week program running from mid-June to mid-August. The summer program was designed to prepare you for the rigor of the academic year ahead. Before beginning the fall semester at Manchester, you attend classes and workshops on campus, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Practice and reinforce reading, writing, and math skills
  • Retake the English and math assessment tests to determine your placement in college-level courses
  • Earn up to seven college credits, including:
    • ENG* 093: Introduction to College Reading and Writing
    • Math Lab (three credits)
  • Benefit from one-on-one guidance from tutors,  peers, and  mentors
  • Develop time management and study skills
  • Learn how to balance school work and family commitments
  • Take cultural enrichment trips
  • Enjoy campus activities
  • Get comfortable with your future
  • Feel good about yourself

Attendance to all classes/events will be mandatory for the entire seven-week summer session. Due to the high level of commitment required, we highly recommend employment not exceed 15 hours a week. Cultural enrichment activities on Fridays could go longer than our regularly scheduled day. A STARS Advisor will inform you of these trips ahead of time. THE STARS PROGRAM PAYS FOR ALL CLASSES, BOOKS AND FIELD TRIPS. More information regarding the Summer Program will be available and sent out in the Spring.

Once you complete the summer program and continue studying at Manchester, you will take a one-credit study skills course in the fall and participate in ongoing trips, tutoring, and enrichment workshops throughout the academic year. As an added advantage, program advisors will continue to support and guide you as you progress toward earning your degree.

Contact Information

To meet with a STARS Advisor, please schedule an appointment. Advisors can meet with you face to face, virtually (Webex or Teams), or over the phone. When scheduling your appointment, please clarify which method you would prefer.

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m..

Mailing Address:
STARS Program

Great Path, MS #8
P.O. Box 1046
Manchester, CT 06045-1046

Leo E. Jones
STARS Coordinator
Office SSC, L219f

Schedule an appointment with Leo 

Theresa Legein
STARS  Coordinator
Office SSC, L219b

Schedule an appointment with Theresa