Welcome to STARTastro!

Summer Transfer Academy and Research Training in Astronomy & Astrophysics

STARTastro is a regional partnership between UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and San Diego's ten minority-serving community colleges that aims to support transfer student success for Astronomy and physical science majors through a Transfer Receptive Culture Model. STARTastro provides academic and research preparation so that transfer students are ready to excel as upper division majors.

Stay involved by joining our google group at https://groups.google.com/g/startastro 

2024 Information Session

Pre Transfer Workshop Slides

(May 2024) An information session on how to prepare for transfer into an Astronomy & Astrophysics major as a Community College student, including participating in the STARTastro program, was held on May 7th. The session was hosted by STARTastro organizers Adam Burgasser, Kate Rubin, and Karin Sandstrom, and featured a panel of former Community College students now pursuing advanced degrees and careers in A&A. You can see the presentation using the YouTube link to the left or view the slides for more information.

Meet our Community College Partners

What is a Transfer Receptive Culture Model?

The Transfer Receptive Culture model focuses on addressing the barriers faced by racially diverse Community College transfer students in the California system, and the role UC and CSU institutions plays in ensuring these students successfully advance from transfer enrollment to completion of a Bachelor's degree.  We use the principles of the Transfer Receptive Culture model to design our Transfer Academy program. 

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The Transfer Receptive Culture model identifies five core elements for ensuring transfer student success: 

Studies have shown that the Transfer Receptive Culture model addresses students’ fears and misconceptions about transferring, and increases their sense of financial and academic support and validation in their transfer-to institution.

Key references

Funding Support


Our program is generously funded by the Heising Simons Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and supported by staff, faculty, and students at UCSD and SDSU.