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STARS Program

You can be a STAR!

The Student Affairs Fellowship Program is designed to give participants a meaningful experience that will expand their perspectives, knowledge and skills in the field of student affairs.

Eligibility & Learning Outcomes

Full-time (academic professional and open range civil service) staff in Student Affairs are eligible to apply for the program. Participants will be selected by a committee of Student Affairs department heads, based on established criteria. The program is a high-quality learning and developmental experience, so participants (with approval of their supervisors) should be prepared to spend time for the academic year working on STARS projects. The time commitment could be more or less, depending on the project.

The STARS program is intended to be flexible and designed to meet the needs of the fellows, their department and the department(s) they choose to explore.

Participants will:

  • Gain knowledge of departments in student affairs other than those in which they currently have experience.
  • Acquire additional knowledge in administrative areas such as, but not limited to, budgeting, facilities management and supervision. Enhance their career potential in student affairs.
  • Develop skills that are transferrable within student affairs leadership positions and create goals for skills they would like to improve.
  • Receive a broad perspective of student affairs relative to other units in the Division and the University at large.

Educational Components

Monthly educational experience

One Friday afternoon a month, participants will attend a student affairs seminar on a variety of topics, which typically include:

  • Budgeting
  • Supervision
  • Politics, Leadership and Culture (different institutional and departmental cultures, state legislatures, board members and other outside constituencies)
  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Legal Issues
  • Facilities Management
  • Topic Chosen by Participants
  • Diversity
  • Assessment
  • Problem Solving
  • Conflict Resolution

Significant experience in another unit

The terms of the experience are negotiated with the department in which the individual hopes to gain experience, as well as the individual's supervisor and department head. Depending on the experience, it could require the fellow to work in the new department one day a week, for a four-day period once a month, or two weeks during the semester.

A written agreement between department and individual may be required. The scheduling is flexible depending on the person's home and visiting departments.

Staff development

While the fellow will discuss the experience with the relevant departments or units, the fellowship experience could include: attendance at staff meetings, an opportunity to shadow staff in the department, an opportunity to spend "a day in the life" of the department, work on a project or project team, work on the budget, exposure to supervising styles, identify a mentor in the department, serve on a committee, become involved in hiring, or plan an event or program.


The participants will choose a mentor for the duration of the program who will help them design their experience, serve as a sounding board, give advice, etc.

Capstone experience

Each STARS participant will work with a partner in the program to analyze and present a case study project. The results will be presented to Student Affairs staff department heades when the program concludes each May.

Optional experiences

To gain additional knowledge of other departments, the fellows may choose to shadow a department head or associate or interview staff in other departments.

Selection Criteria

  • Must be a full-time academic professional or open range civil service staff member in one of the University of Illinois Student Affairs departments.
  • Must have at least a bachelor's degree plus a minimum of five years of experience in student affairs or a closely related field, at least some of which was at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Must be available for all the sessions and be committed to completing the program according to the time commitment specified.
  • Must have the pre-approval of their supervisor and department head.

How to Apply

Not accepting applications at this time.