Photo of student holding books


The Higher Education Participation and Partnerships program (HEPPP) has been established to provide funding to universities to increase participation and success of students from low socio economic (LSES) backgrounds.

Part of the CSU allocation of HEPPP funding is being utilised on the STAR (Student Transition and Retention) Plan.

The STAR Plan provides an integrated approach to student transition and retention initiatives across the university and ensures a lasting impact from the use of HEPPP funding on a university wide rather than an individual student based approach. 2011 saw the approach approved and implemented within each of the four faculties at CSU.


The overall aim of the STAR plan is increased retention and an enhanced student experience for LSES students, however as the program is curriculum based, it is anticipated that the STAR Program will have wide reaching benefits for all CSU students.

Selection of STAR Courses

Academic Support, the Faculties and Planning and Audit have worked together to identify the most appropriate courses to implement STAR within. Data analysis based on the following criteria was used:

  1. Must be bachelors degree
  2. Cannot be a double degree
  3. Not an honours degree
  4. Shouldn't be a 'holding degree' eg. Bachelor of Education Studies

From the remaining degrees

  • LSES load > 5
  • % LSES load 15%
  • Success ratio <1
  • Attrition ratio <1
  • Above Ave Attrition (for Faculty) and/or
  • Below Ave Progress (for Faculty)


Each Faculty has appointed a STAR Academic to develop and lead the plan within their faculty and a support star to assist with the implementation of the plan. The initial focus is on the following areas:

  1. Review of curriculum to ensure LSES inclusive pedagogy (includes ensuring alignment with ALTC First Year Principles)
  2. Student orientation
  3. Student communication
  4. Follow up of 'at risk triggers' by the Student Success Team
  5. Introduction of PASS

While formal retention data for STAR courses will not be available till March 2012, currently available data from the 7 STAR courses indicates that of the 1635 students who commenced in a STAR course in 2011, 339 students went on to fail 532 subjects in their first session. This is 20.7% of students. The compares favorably to the previous year (pre STAR) where the same courses had a subject failure rate of 23.6%.

Faculty of Arts

  • Bachelor of Social Work, Sue Mlcek (Academic Lead), Judy Ogden (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Russell Daylight (Academic Lead), TBA

Faculty of Business

  • Bachelor of Accounting, Warwick Baines (Academic Lead), Sandra Fisher (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Information Technology, Deborah Murdoch (Academic Lead), Sandra Fisher (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Business (Marketing), Felicity Small (Academic Lead), Melanie Hood (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Business (Management), Katherine Attree (Academic Lead), Melanie Hood (STAR Support)

Faculty of Education

  • Bachelor of Information Studies, Roy Crotty (Academic Lead), Chelsea Kovacs (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Education (Primary), Georgina Sanger (Academic Lead), Liam Downing (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Exercise Science, Georgina Sanger (Academic Lead), Liam Downing (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Education (Birth to 5 years), Celia Hillman (Academic Lead), Chelsea Kovacs (STAR Support)

Faculty of Science

  • Bachelor of Nursing, Jenny Cox (Academic Lead), Alicia Curtis (STAR Support)
  • Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic), Jenny Cox (Academic Lead), Alicia Curtis (STAR Support)

Foundation subjects (below), Brett Biles (Academic Lead), Lisa Thompson (STAR Support)

  • CHM108 Chemical Fundamentals
  • CHM104 Chemistry 1A
  • CHM107 Chemistry 1B
  • BMS129 Physiological Sciences 1
  • BMS130 Physiological Sciences 2
  • MCR101 Intro to Microbiology
  • PHY100 Medical Radiation Physics
  • BIO100 Concepts of Biology