Students Reach for the Stars

(Pictured from left to right) STARS participant
Amber Quintana 18, of East Hartford with
mentor Claricel Gonzalez of East Hartford.
Manchester, Conn., - (August 15, 2008)…As a mentor and former participant of the Summer Training and Academic Retention Services (STARS) program, Claricel Gonzalez, of East Hartford, understands the struggles many first-year college students face. “New students often struggle with being mature and getting their work done; they are not sure what it takes to do well in college,” stated Gonzalez. The STARS program provides first-year students with a head start on their coursework at MCC and establishes a strong foundation for success in college. For six weeks this summer, 28 students completed the STARS program and prepared for the upcoming academic year.

The program focuses on self-assessment in preparation for the rigors of the initial year in college. Students work one-on-one with the Center for Student Development staff to develop a plan of study for the upcoming academic year. They also participated in cultural enrichment activities, and increased their skill set in areas such as computer literacy, study techniques, reading, writing, time management, career life planning and goal setting. “The STARS program gives students the tools they need to be successful,” stated Gonzalez.
STARS participant Chelsea Morante, 18 of
Wethersfield (center) with her mother,
Linda Martinez (left) and Lillian Ortiz,
dean of Institutional Development at MCC.

Brittany Bamforth, 19, of Rockville, took a year off after graduating high school and found the STARS program to be beneficial in helping her “get into the swing of things.” “The staff helped out in every way and they prepared me for my educational journey at MCC,” stated Bamforth.

“For first-year students that were not able to attend the program, it’s important that they find the support services available on campus and at the Center for Student Development,” stated Michael Stefanowicz, director of the Office of Transitional Programs. “Students shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from anyone at the college.”

Chelsea Morante, 18, of Wethersfield, wants new students to “take advantage of the resources available, don’t give up and take school seriously because college is what you need to be a success in life.”

The STARS program is funded in part by a grant from the Connecticut Department of Higher Education (ConnCAS).

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Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.
News Item Posted On: August 15, 2008
For Additional Information Contact: Endia DeCordova-Murphy at (860) 512-2914