What is STAR?

STAR is a program that rewards A&S staff who complete eligible professional development or training activities in a year. STAR is short for “Staff Training Activity Report,” the online system used to keep track of STAR hours.

Who is eligible for STAR?

State-funded full- and part-time employees, both exempt and non-exempt, are eligible for the STAR program. Employees whose positions are grant-funded are non-state-funded employees and should consult their department chairs or directors to find out if they are STAR-eligible.

How does STAR work?

If you choose to participate in the STAR program, you’ll use the online system to request approval from your supervisor to receive STAR hours for events and activities. The system will email the request to your supervisor, who will log in to approve or deny the request. You will then receive an email to inform you whether the request was approved or denied.

After each event, you’ll log into the STAR website to report completion. You will earn one STAR hour for every hour of approved training/professional development. (NOTE: CASSA, OCTSA, and PSA meetings count for 30 minutes of STAR credit. UA mandatory compliance training sessions are worth varying amounts of credit.)

If you’re interested in participating in STAR in a given year, you can choose one of two levels: Track 1 or Track 2. Details about these tracks are provided on our Requirements & Rewards page.

How do I get a STAR account?

For more information on how to sign up for a staff member or supervisor account, visit the Getting Started page.

Is STAR mandatory?

No, STAR is not mandatory.

Can I earn STAR hours for activities not sponsored by HR?

Yes, with the approval of your supervisor. Please read the examples of eligible STAR activities found on our STAR Eligibility page.

Can I earn STAR hours for off-campus events?

Yes, with the approval of your supervisor. Please read the examples of eligible STAR activities found on our STAR Eligibility page.

I can’t leave my desk during business hours. How am I supposed to do professional development activities?

First, talk to your supervisor, who is required to make it possible for you to complete STAR hours. That might mean asking a co-worker or a student worker to cover the phones for a little while, for example. In the majority of offices, this is doable.

Second, remember that a lot of online courses, webinars, and other resources let you earn STAR hours at your desk — often at your own pace and on a schedule that suits you and your workload. If you work in one of the many A&S departments that experience a summertime or exam week lull, you might take advantage of that time to earn some STAR credit online. The resources listed on our STAR Opportunities page include numerous online offerings.

Third, don’t forget about activities you might already be doing: conferences, courses for certification renewal, UA academic courses toward a degree, training sessions offered by facilities, purchasing, and other UA offices. Make sure to enter those into your STAR account so you’ll get the credit you’ve earned. Several of these activities are listed on our STAR Eligibility page.

A class I got STAR credit for two years ago is being offered again. Can I repeat a class for STAR credit?

Yes. STAR is about encouraging A&S staff members to keep their knowledge and skills fresh and up-to-date. Software, policies, and procedures can change from year to year, so repeating courses that are appropriate for your job could be quite helpful.

How can I tell how many hours I’ve earned this year?

The best way to do this is by creating a report in STAR. Start by logging in. From the dropdown menu under “My Event Manager,” select “Download Report.” Check the box next to your name, enter the desired date range (for 2019–2020, the STAR year runs from May 1 2019 through August 2020, but you can enter any date range), and then click “Download.”

What if there’s an event I want to attend that’s relevant to my job, but it doesn’t fit any of the categories on the eligibility page?

Complete our User Help & Suggestions form, and we’ll not only get back to you about your specific event, we might also modify the eligibility page to include events like it (if it’s something that may apply to many people).