More about AI-STAARS

Program Objective: The objectives of the AI-STAARS program are: (1) To improve information equity through intensive and tailored academic and professional advising, (2) To increase the academic and professional self-efficacy through co-curricular activities that provide early AI exposure, career coaching, and research and industry experiences in AI, (3) To develop students’ sense of belonging and identity as computer scientists by helping them become part of the CS community and by humanizing CS and AI via showcasing role models and social good projects.

AI-STAARS is a year-long program that also offers scholarships based on financial need. Students will join during the Fall and continue until the Summer. Students in this program will engage in three key components: (1) Intensive advising, (2) A TGIF (Thank God Its Friday) series and (3) Winter and Summer break activities.


What will Advising involve?

  • Academic advising - Like many science and engineering bachelor's programs, SFSU’s CS major has a high unit load, and many required courses have two or more prerequisite courses. For such programs, it is imperative that students make steady progress through major courses to graduate on time, taking the right courses in the right order. Academic advising will keep students on track to graduate on time.
  • Career advising -  The advising component of AI-STAARS is designed to address the next career step. Students may be unaware of all the internship, job opportunities, or professional development events happening on campus because their busy lives (part-time/full-time jobs, commuter student status) prevent them from being aware. Career advisors will bridge the gap and address these problems by improving information equality for the scholars.
  • Career planning resources for students: Job Search Preparation >> Social Media Guidance >> Job Search and Interview Prep

What is the TFIG Series? 

  • TGIF series consists of 2-hour sessions on Friday afternoons during academic semesters (currently held virtually).
  • Most sessions will consist of an AI-focused talk and a fun hands-on workshop.
  • Some of the sessions will be dedicated to professional development activities (resume and professional profile building workshop, career panels, interview preparation workshops)

What are the Winter and Summer activities for? 

Our 1-week winter boot camp and 10-week summer paths program will provide AI-STAARS scholars with the combination of structure and flexibility they need to do well in their CS courses and get started on the path of AI careers


  • In the Winter, AI-STAARS student will participate in a 1-week boot camp to help students consolidate the concepts and skills they learned previosuly in the fall. This will help prepare and build the skills further so students can get ready for the spring semester. Students will work in groups with a mentor to work on topics they may have struggled with.


  • In the Summer, after their first year of SFSU coursework, the summer paths program will engage AI-STAARS scholars in external internships and REUs, or in opportunities to develop their CS/AI skills through research in different labs