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STARS Guide: Home


STARS Overview

STARS (Students Thriving, Achieving, & Recognizing Success) TRiO Student Support Services is designed to assist eligible students in successfully reaching their goal of earning a degree or certificate at NCCC. STARS services are provided at NO expense to STARS participants.

Our purpose is to connect students with opportunity through academic achievement and personal growth.


STARS offers many services and benefits to participating students, to help them achieve success in college and beyond.

  • Academic support
  • Academic tutoring
  • Transfer and career advising
  • Cultural activities
  • Workshops
  • Campus visits to universities
  • Additional financial assistance
  • Access to STARS computer lab
  • Free color printing

Eligibility Requirements

Students are eligible to participate in the STARS Program if they are both a U.S. Citizen or American National and meet the residency requirements for federal financial assistance and are planning to obtain either an associates degree or certificate from NCCC before transferring to a 4-year institution or entering the workforce. Students must also meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • First-generation college student (neither supporting parent has earned a Bachelor's degree)
  • Meet federal income guidelines
  • Have a documented disability

Meet the Staff

Bart Chaney: Director

Bart is originally from Junction City, KS. He has lived in Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Colorado. Bart earned an AA from Cloud County Community College in Kansas, a BS in Psychology, and an MS in Counseling in Higher Education from Fort Hays State University (FHSU). Bart worked at FHSU as a Residence Hall Director for five years and then as a Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of Kansas for 11 years. He has been with STARS since January 2007. Bart enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, reggae, and 60/70s rock music, movies, and carpentry in his spare time. Contact or 620.432.0326.

Lindsey Donovan: Transfer & Career Advisor

Lindsey is originally from Waterloo, IA. She has lived in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Illinois, and Arizona. She graduated with her AS degree in Business Management from Neosho County Community College in 2015 and her BS in Organizational Leadership from Fort Hays State University in 2019. She joined the STARS Team in February 2016. Previously, she worked as a Library Associate in NCCC's Chapman Learning Center and as a Library Supervisor at the Scottsdale Public Library in Arizona. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, baking, learning new things, and spending time with her family, friends, and animals. She also really, really, REALLY likes Harry Potter! Contact or 620.432.0366.

Adam Bentley: Math Specialist

Adam is originally from Neodesha, KS. He graduated with his BME in Instrumental Music and his BS in Mathematics from Pittsburg State University and then he completed his MS in Mathematics in 2016 at the University of West Florida. Adam joined the STARS Team in August of 2017. In his spare time, he enjoys playing video games with his friend from high school, playing or listening to music, and spending time with his wife and sons. Contact or 620.432.0392.

Abi Linhardt   

Abigail Linhardt: English & Humanities Specialist

Abi is something of a nomad and loves tall tales and magic. She grew up in Kansas on a farm, moved to the southern coast, moved north and then east, and has FINALLY found her way back home! She has studied at universities all over the US, holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s in rhetoric and writing. She has taught ESL, and writes a LOT of stories about dragons and magic! She taught composition for three years at universities in Ohio and publishes novels and short stories in her spare time. She loves teaching and mentoring but also plays an unhealthy amount of video games. Contact or (620) 432-0390. 

Student Support Data Specialist

Susan grew up in Pittsburg, KS. She went to PSU for 2 years and majored in Business. She got married and moved to Chanute. Then she finished her Associate Degree in Business at NCCC. Previously she worked for the Department of Children and Families in numerous positions. She began working for STARS/SSS at NCCC in August 2018. Outside of work she enjoys gardening, working on the farm, and spending time with her family and grandkids. Contact or 620.432.0332.


STARS TRiO Student Support Services

Program Description 

Through a grant competition, funds are awarded to institutions of higher education to provide opportunities for academic development, assist students with basic college requirements, and to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. Student Support Services (SSS) projects also may provide grant aid to current SSS participants who are receiving Federal Pell Grants (# 84.063). The goal of SSS is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants.


Profile Photo
Todd Knispel
620-431-2820 ext.246

Apply for STARS

The application is the required first step of becoming a STARS participant. This is an application that you must fill out before being accepted into the program. When you arrive on campus you will be able to sign your copy to verify your information and interest in the program.

Email questions to:

Mail to:
Neosho County Community College
800 W. 14th St.
Chanute, KS 66720