Waubonsee Community College's S.T.A.R. Program
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) rates Waubonsee Community College academically in the upper five percent of all community colleges nationwide. Waubonsee is at the forefront of two-year institutions because of the college's progressive focus and academic commitment. A prime example of that is Waubonsee's S.T.A.R. Program (Student/Athletes Taking Academic Responsibility), which was created in 1991 to further the academic progress and increase the academic success of student/athletes participating in sports. The S.T.A.R. program was originally modeled after similar programs run at a few large, four-year colleges and universities. The subsequent success of the S.T.A.R. program has led many other colleges around the country to model their own academic and monitoring system after Waubonsee's.
It is the belief of the athletic office that due to the ever changing transfer regulations, the pressure of multiple commitments including school, sports, family and sometimes work, community colleges have a responsibility to their students to keep them informed and to guide them through a successful transition to their chosen four-year school.
The purpose of the S.T.A.R. program is to:
Assist students in staying on track academically while participating in sports
Provide individualized academic and personal counseling
Monitor academic progress
Help students maintain athletic eligibility
Guide students in transferring and meeting goals
Students are provided with personal, career and academic counseling. The counselor's office is located on the first floor of the Field House in the Athletic Department Office. Students are required to meet with a S.T.A.R. counselor on a regular basis, which allows them to stay current with their academic standing. In addition, it provides the student with the assistance they need to meet their individual and transfer goals. Eighty-five percent of Waubonsee's athletes go on to four-year institutions to finish their course work.
All incoming freshmen students/athletes are required to attend weekly study hall sessions. These athlete only study sessions are staffed with a qualified tutor and are designed to assist students in balancing school work and athletic obligations. Study sessions also provide an opportunity for students to do class work, receive tutoring, and obtain information from coaches, counselors and the athletic department. Computers and a wireless internet connection are available to further enhance the students? work on projects and class assignment.
If a student ever needs additional individualized tutoring, they can contact a S.T.A.R. counselor to assist them with arranging a qualified on campus tutor for times when the study hall is not operating.
At the college's annual Athletic Banquet near the conclusion of the school year, the study hall tutor in conjunction with the athletic counselors, hands out the S.T.A.R. Award. This recognition is given to the student/athlete that displayed a good work ethic, a dedication to academics and achieved perfect attendance in Waubonsee's athletic monitoring program throughout the school year.
The college's S.T.A.R. counselor will contact a student's instructors on a regular basis to see how they are progressing. This includes academic checks as well as reports on class attendance.
Throughout the school year students are encouraged to access other services available through the college. This includes, but is not limited to, workshops on scholarships, test anxiety, stress management, financial aid, transferring to four-year institutions, as well as individual team workshops on mental toughness..
Waubonsee also provides ongoing assistance in the areas of mathematics, writing, academic assistance and study strategies through the Tutoring Center in Collins Hall on the Sugar Grove campus. The Tutoring Center offers classroom and individualized open lab assistance, and academic coaching. Instruction is tailored to the individual so you work at a level where you feel comfortable, yet challenged. If you need to build or expand certain skills, staff can structure a program that's right for you.
ACADEMIC AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
The S.T.A.R. counselors annually nominate student/athletes for various scholarships and academic recognitions. Of the college's numerous Foundation Scholarships, several are earned by athletic participants each year. Several individuals and Waubonsee athletic teams are also recognized for their academic achievements by the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
The ISCC annually bestows the Dick Durrant Award to the male and female student/athletes in league who attain the highest grade point average after completing four semesters of college work, and at least forty-eight semester hours of credit. Dick Durrant was an outstanding teacher, coach and athletic director at Elgin Community College from 1961 through 1985, who championed the philosophy of academic as well as athletic excellence. Waubonsee student/athletes more than anyone else have epitomized this over the years, as evidenced by the fact that more than half the recipients to earn this award since its inception in 1979 have been Chiefs.
More information about the S.T.A.R. Program or any of Waubonsee's athletic programs is available by contacting the Athletic Manager at (630) 466-2527, or an athletic counselor at (630) 466-2525.