A Message from the 2014-2015 AGSC Chair...

Dear Supporters of AGSC/STARS:

It is hard to believe that a year has gone by so quickly. We are grateful to you, members of the legislature, faculty and administrators who serve on the committee, Alabama Commission on Higher Education board members and staff and constituents at all two year and four year institutions, for your support of AGSC/STARS and for recognizing the value the program provides to students in the State of Alabama. I am grateful to Dr. Keith Sessions and staff for their faithfulness to the vision and mission of AGSC/STARS and support for each new chair. Their efforts have been exemplary and tireless.

We have been quite busy this year and are continuing on a positive trajectory. In order to focus on those matters that were deemed critical we set priorities for the year.

Accomplishments based on the priorities set included:

  • Establishing a subcommittee to review the rules and procedures regarding Reverse Transfer. We believe that Reverse Transfer is going to have an impact on the retention and graduation rates at the two year colleges as well as four year universities. This review led to interest and discussion on the matter in the state legislature.

  • It has been more than a decade since we have had an external review of the AGSC/STARS Program. The last external review report was submitted in 2002. We established a subcommittee to develop the guidelines for the review. We want to ensure that we are continuing to make progress and meeting our stated goals and objectives and the best way to do that is through a thorough assessment and evaluation. The committee voted to move forward with submitting an RFP for proposals from firms to conduct the external review. The process is still underway as the budget is being reviewed for AGSC/STARS. Some internal evaluations and assessments will be conducted prior to the start of the external evaluation process.

  • Create an information packet that can be mailed annually to each member of the state legislature, the university and college presidents, and other supporters to keep them informed of the on-going work and
    successes of the AGSC/STARS Program. 

  • Increase visibility, communication, education, and training efforts across the state at all levels.  Provide additional training opportunities that can be conducted online using the current AGSC/STARS website.

  • The staff made visits to many university and college campuses who participate in the AGSC/STARS Program. 

  • A survey was conducted of the AGSC/STARS Four-Year Points of Contact to determine how they use the STARS monthly usage data.

  • STARS staff members attended various professional conferences and meetings to make presentations and provide AGSC/STARS updates. 

  • The staff was able to upgrade equipment and software in the office in order to be able to work more effectively and efficiently.

  • More features were added to the website to make it more student and administrator friendly.

  • The Chair and the Executive Director presented an update of the progress of AGSC/STARS to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and began a discussion with commission members about the completion agenda.

  • The Chair and the Executive Director presented information about AGSC/STARS and the benefits of the program to Provosts and Deans from around the state and encouraged them to use the full capacity of the articulation process and the STARS system.

  • A student satisfaction survey was developed in order to determine the effectiveness of STARS for students and find if they need additional assistance as they matriculate.

  • Established relationships with the private four year institutions in the state and added a representative to the committee.

While we have had many successes, we know there is still much work to be done to get the budget stabilized and continue with external evaluation efforts.  I have no doubt, the very capable staff and committee members who volunteer to serve will set more priorities that will keep the State of Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee and STARS System as recognized programs of excellence to be modeled by other states.

You have my sincere thanks and appreciation for your support,


Sharron Y. Herron-Williams, Ph.D.
AGSC CHAIRMAN -- 2014-2015
Professor of Political Science