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Academic STARS prepares African American students for college life, improves retention

Young woman in WVU shirt stands in group of other young people

WVU's STARS program that brings incoming African American freshmen to campus for immersion into campus culture is being held this week.

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A five-week program that immerses incoming African American freshmen into West Virginia University begins this week with a cohort of 14 Academic STARS. Students Achieving and Reaching Success offers academic activities designed to help foster cultural adjustment on campus, while building a solid academic foundation. The program boasts degree completion for more than 200 students since it began in 2008.

Quotes and Comments 

“The WVU STARS Program is one of two in the United States, and its impact on our students over the past decade has been incredible. Our STARS are engaged in almost every area of leadership and service available on our campus, and they often remain at WVU to pursue advanced degrees once they graduate.”

“The program was initiated to not only promote the success and retention of our African-American students, but also to lead them down the road to cultural self-discovery. I am always impressed by our new students’ willingness to cut their summer breaks an entire month short so that they may become better acclimated to campus and life at WVU.”—Marjorie Fuller, director of WVU Center for Black Culture and Research 

BEST VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES: The group will also participate in the ropes course facilitated by Adventure WV at the WVU Outdoor Education Center in Bruceton Mills (Thursday, June 27, 8:30 a.m.), will hear from President Gordon Gee (July 8, 10 a.m., Evansdale Residential Complex RFL Annex Building) and perform community service at the Shack Neighborhood House in Pursglove (July 12).


(VIDEO): Academic STARS program, 2014

WVU Academic Stars Program

WVU Center for Black Culture and Research

Target Audiences

  • Prospective African American students
  • Parents of prospective students
  • WVU faculty and staff
  • Other colleges and universities



CONTACT: Marjorie Fuller
Center for Black Culture & Research; 304.293.7029

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.