The New STAR Program: Two Ways to Participate
A&S staff members’ jobs vary widely, and so do their reasons for participating in STAR (if they choose to participate at all). To accommodate the diversity of our staff members’ needs and desires, the redesigned STAR program offers two participation levels:
- Track 1: This track is for those who are interested in STAR for professional enlightenment and want to participate in the program in a nominal way. Track 1 requires the completion of 10 STAR hours.
- Track 2: This track is geared toward those who are interested in pursuing STAR for career advancement and advanced degree opportunities. Track 2 requires the completion of 20 STAR hours.
Staff may choose whether they want to participate in the program each year and can decide which track they want to follow.
Staff may also choose to skip the STAR program altogether. They can also continue using STAR to keep track of time spent in professional development activities, even if they have no interest in program participation.
Rewards for Participation
Track 1: Those who complete 10 hours in the program will be invited to a lunch (following the completion of the STAR year) to celebrate their achievement and will receive a printable certificate for their records.
Track 2: Those who complete 20 hours of STAR credit can apply for a STAR Scholarship that can be used toward the cost of conferences, certification training, entrance exams, etc. Scholarships will require written proposals submitted by the individuals. Applications will be reviewed by the STAR Scholarship Committee, and scholarship money, provided by the College, will be awarded throughout the year. More details on the scholarship and the committee may be found on the STAR Scholarship page.
Those who participate in and successfully complete Track 2 will automatically receive the benefits given in Track 1.
No Connection to Evaluations or Raises
One of the most frequent complaints from the staff was the ambiguity of the STAR incentive. Many people were never sure if they actually got the incentive and, if they did, how much it actually was. Due to the lack of control that the College has with regard to raise money provided each year by UA and due to everyone’s desire for increased transparency, it was decided that STAR should be separated from the annual evaluation/raise process.
Instead, STAR will be focused on employee education opportunities. Staff may choose whether they want to participate in the program each year and can decide which track they want to follow.
Since STAR is no longer tied to evaluations or raises, the current STAR calendar will be extended through December 31, 2021. Due to the extension, this year’s hours will be collected from September 2020 through December 2021. Starting in 2022, the STAR calendar will go from January 1 through December 31.
The incentives for the program will be clear from the beginning of the STAR year so individuals can choose whether or not to participate based on the incentives offered. For Track 2 participants, details about the STAR scholarship and application process are provided on the STAR Scholarship page..
Finally, because the idea of professional development and the offered rewards may not appeal to everyone, it was recommended that no punitive action be taken against those who choose not to participate. STAR participation is not, and never has been, required.