STARTALK was launched as a new component in the programs of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI) announced by former President Bush in January of 2006. The initiative seeks to expand and improve the teaching and learning of strategically important world languages that are not now widely taught in the US. Other programs under the NSLI umbrella include Title VI/Fulbright Hays programs of the US Department of Education, The National Security Education program of the National Defense University, and study abroad and exchange programs of the US Department of State (http://www.state.gov/).
STARTALK's mission is to increase the number of Americans learning, speaking, and teaching critically-needed foreign languages by offering students (K-16) and teachers of these languages creative and engaging summer experiences that strive to exemplify best practices in language education and in language teacher development, forming an extensive community of practice that seeks continuous improvement in such criteria as outcomes-driven program design, standards-based curriculum planning, learner-centered approaches, excellence in selection and development of materials, and meaningful assessment of outcomes.
Troy university has successfully hosted the STARTALK program 9 years in a row since the summer of 2010.