STARS FAQs

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Q. What is a First Year Experience (FYE) program?

A. A First Year Experience Program is a new and exciting program to prepare students for academic success as new college students. Students can be part of a First Year Experience learning community their first year at Cabrillo College.

Q. Do I have to register for specific courses?

A. Yes. The STARS First Year Experience program has spaces reserved in all of the courses for the learning community, including math and English. All students will attend a 1-2 orientation prior to the start of Fall semester and need to assess in the following levels: Math 154 or 254 (with a score of 20 or higher) and English 100 or 255. In addition to math and English, all students will take a 1 unit First Year Experience seminar course (DMCP 130) and have several options for career related courses in spring semester.

Q. Is there a theme? Do I have to pursue a particular career?

A. Each year tends to have a different theme. We focus on completion of English and math in the first year and support students to get an Associates degree, move into specific career tracks at Cabrillo or transfer to a four year university.Oftentimes throughout the year, the learning community will have guest speakers, panels, field trips, assignments, and special topic courses that expose students to career and transfer opportunities.

Q. What are the requirements to enroll in the STARS First Year Experience Learning Community?

A. The program is open to all full-time students. It is a yearlong program starting with a either a 2-week summer math intensive or a 1-2 day orientation prior to the start of fall semester. Students then take courses in fall and spring semester. Priority to enroll in the STARS program is given to students who attend an orientation in April or May. You must complete the following steps in order to enroll in the STARS First Year Experience program:

  1. Compete a Cabrillo College application (you must apply to the Fall 2014 term).
  2. Take the Math and English college assessment exams: Students will need to place in the following levels to be eligible:
    • Math 154 or 254 (score of 20 or higher
    • English 100 or 255
  3. Complete the STARS First Year Experience Program Application.

Q. Are learning community courses more difficult than other courses?

A. No. You will be required to do no more than you would in individual separate classes. In fact, by connecting the courses, students, faculty and services – we find that students work in groups, building a learning community, and receiving additional support and resources which actually make it easier to understand the material and help them succeed.

Q. Do the courses count for a degree or transfer?

A. Most of the courses count towards your degree, and some will transfer. If you place at English or math at the 200 level or below, you will need to take that course before taking one that will count for a degree. This is the same for all students, but those in the STARS First Year Experience Learning Community will get extra assistance to help you get to courses that count for a degree or to transfer as quickly as possible.

Q. What is a Learning Community and why should I become part of one?

A. A Learning Community is a fun, exciting, and supportive learning environment where students take a combination of linked classes that focus on a special theme. Students build lasting friendships, work closely in teams (as a tight-knit "cohort"), interact with supportive faculty, and often have a specially assigned counselor who supports each student's individual educational plans. There are different types of Learning Communities at Cabrillo (for a list of all Cabrillo learning communities visit: Learning Communities Center ) from full-time to part-time programs, all of which are designed to maximize your strengths and concentrate on the skills you need to achieve your goals in school and in life. Belong, learn, and succeed by enrolling in a Learning Community at Cabrillo College!


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