Asee peer logo

Implementation and Assessment of the Washington STate Academic RedShirt (STARS) Program

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Katherine Christine Tetrick Washington State Univeristy

visit author page

Katherine directs the STARS program at Washington State University. She has a master's in mathematics education.

visit author page


Eve A. Riskin University of Washington

visit author page

Eve Riskin received her BS degree in Electrical Engineering from
M.I.T. and her graduate degrees in EE from Stanford. Since 1990, she
has been in the EE Department at the University of Washington where
she is now Associate Dean of Diversity and Access in the College of
Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the
ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change. With ADVANCE, she works on
mentoring and leadership development programs for women faculty in
STEM. She was awarded a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, a
Sloan Research Fellowship, the 2006 WEPAN University Change Agent
award, the 2006 Hewlett-Packard Harriett B. Rigas Award, and the 2007
University of Washington David B. Thorud Leadership Award.
She is a Fellow of the IEEE.

visit author page


John B. Schneider Washington State University

visit author page

John Schneider is an associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. He has been with WSU since 1991. He conducts research in the areas of acoustics, optics and electromagnetics; wave propagation and scattering; computer solutions to electromagnetic and acoustic problems; and remote sensing. He has received the Reid Miller Teaching Excellence award from the College and has been the EECS researcher of the year. He was the recipient of a prestigious U.S. Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. In 2012, he was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), where he was recognized for contributions to the field of computational electromagnetics.

visit author page


Sonya Cunningham University of Washington

visit author page

Assistant Director of Diversity & Access
College of Engineering

visit author page

Download Paper |


The goal of the Washington STate Academic RedShirt (STARS) Program is to help ensure students from economically and academically disadvantaged backgrounds are able to complete degrees in either engineering or computer science. Similar to providing a "redshirt year" to talented athletes who arrive at college not quite ready to compete at the collegiate level, the STARS program is designed to provide additional time and resources to students who are admitted to college and yet may not be fully prepared to succeed in a four-year engineering or computer science degree program. To help ensure their success, STARS students obtain additional instruction, high-touch advising ("coaching"), scholarships, and integration into a supportive social structure.

The STARS programs, which was modeled after the University of Colorado GoldShirt Program, is offered at both the University of Washington (UW) and Washington State University (WSU), the state's two leading universities. Both schools have a Carnegie classification of very high research activity but, in general, admit students with different levels of prior academic success (WSU is the state's land-grant institution while UW is one of the nation's leading research institutions). Now entering its third year, in this paper we discuss the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the STARS program. We also discuss the aspects of the STARS program that are common across the two institutions and what features are unique to each institution.

Tetrick, K. C., & Riskin, E. A., & Schneider, J. B., & Cunningham, S. (2016, June), Implementation and Assessment of the Washington STate Academic RedShirt (STARS) Program Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25556

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015