What to Expect

Are you wondering what it would be like if you became a STAR student?

The academic experience

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STAR students will take six credit hours. Classes are one hour and 45 minutes and take place from 9 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additionally, students will participate in a mandatory one hour supplemental lab in the afternoon, Monday through Thursday.  The lab provides students extra time to understand the material covered in class.

The classes that are offered in the STAR program are:

  • English 110: Rhetoric in the Media - This course examines the use of rhetoric to analyze and write about popular cultural texts such as print media, advertising and commercials, television shows, films, cyberspace, and radio.
  • Communication Studies: Fundamentals of Public Speaking - This course focuses on the development of basic skills for the creation and delivery of oral messages in public and in small groups while emphasizing organization and reasoning.
  • Ethnic Studies 100: Introduction to Ethnic Studies - This course offers an explanation of the social, political, historical, and cultural experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino(as)/Chicano(as), and Native Americans in the United States.
  • Sociology 101: Introduction to Sociology - This course explores the basic concepts and interpretations of human action and the significance of a sociological perspective on the human experience. There will only be one section of SOC 101, and it is limited to students participating in the SBS STARS academic cohort.  Students in the SBS STARS cohort will take Sociology 101 instead of Communication Studies.
  • Political Science 120: World Politics -This course provides an introduction to the study of international relations and world politics.  We will examine key issues in world politics, including power, war, hegemony, international institutions, trade, and environmental issues.  This course will focus both upon theories that help us understand world politics, and actual events taking place in the international system today.  The goal of the course is to familiarize the student with the workings of the international system and the means by which political scientists try to understand and study international relations.  This course fulfills the Cultural Understanding requirement.
  • Applied Indigenous studies 101: In this course we will examine the current conditions of policy, government, natural resources, expressive culture, language, and the education of indigenous peoples at a local, national, and global level. To do this, we will utilize a lens of multiple indigenous epistemologies and historical experiences that include pre-contact and post-contact timelines to learn how broader topics of colonialism, sovereignty, and self-determination inform contemporary issues of indigenous communities; and the contributions by indigenous peoples to world cultures.”
  • Orientation Date May 31st and June 1st

All courses fulfill liberal studies requirements for all academic majors on campus. They will provide you with a solid background of written, communication, presentation, and public speaking skills.

Your academic cohort

The STAR program has partnered with 4 colleges and various departments on campus to provide you with the opportunity to participate in supplemental activities related to your major and meet fellow students studying the same subject. You will attend weekly meetings to learn more about the academic expectations and opportunities of your chosen major.

The five academic cohorts are:

  • STAR FORCE: Students majoring in Engineering and Professional Programs (i.e. engineering, computer science, and construction management) will meet twice a week to engage in hands-on activities with faculty, explore Engineering and Professional Program offerings and industry jobs, and identify the resources and skills that support their success.
  • SBS STARS: Students majoring in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (i.e. political science, criminal justice, sociology, social work, psychology and international relations) will meet 2 times out of the 4 weeks with a representative from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences to talk about career opportunities, meet staff and faculty, and explore the various majors.
  • STAR2Work: (Career Development) The STAR to Work is a unique program that is designed to prepare students for success in future employment opportunities here at NAU. STAR to Work will not only provide students with the means of finding employment but it will also build the required skills and confidence to be successful in their new found roles.

These activities are designed to enhance your experience, but also require you to manage time effectively and prioritize responsibilities.

If you are interested in a cohort, you must be willing to fully commit to attending the weekly activities.

Peer Mentoring: get advice from experienced undergraduates

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As a STAR student, a program assistant will work with you during the program at Northern Arizona University.

Program Assistant are upper-level undergraduate students who have mastered the academic and social rigors of college life. They are familiar with the resources on campus and are experts in navigating the campus climate.

Program Assistant provide support in the areas of:

  • academic advisement
  • the financial aid process
  • career and academic opportunities
  • personal guidance

The residential experience

If you join the STAR program, you will live on campus with other STAR students in Tinsley residence hall.

By living on campus, you get to learn the ins and outs of campus living. Residential living provides an opportunity for you to:

  • create strong friendships
  • an academic support system
  • a fun and engaging living environment
All STAR students are required to live on-campus during the program. You are required to stay on campus for the entire program.
The STAR staff will be planning weekend activities to keep you busy and introduce you to various local activities.
You cannot request a specific roommate for the program.  This way, you can meet new people.

Other considerations

Do I have to go to Freshman Orientation?

All students selected for the STAR program will need to sign up for Northern Arizona University's Freshman Orientation that will take place May 31st and June 1st. If you have already signed up for an orientation session please make sure to change it as it is mandatory to attend the Orientation session that the rest of the STAR students will be attending.To register yourself and guests for orientation click here and for more information about orientation, please visit their website nau.edu/welcome.

Do I need a car, bike, or computer?

If you have a car, you can use it during your stay in the program. However, you will need to purchase a parking permit for your vehicle. Please visit Parking Services to purchase your permit.

Bikes are also allowed.  If you don’t have one, don’t worry.  Your classes, the residence hall, the dining hall, and the First-Generation Programs and Initiatives office are all centrally located. You will not need a bike to get around campus during the program, but there are a lot of great biking trails in the Flagstaff community.

Having a computer is also convenient, as you will have access to the internet in your residence hall.  But if you don’t have one, there are computer labs available on campus. 

Where can I find more general information about the university?

As a future student, see what Northern Arizona University has to offer you.