The rules say "suggested assignments for first time players."
For 4-5 players, the stations would have to be grouped as follows:
Group 1 — Helm, Sensors, Shields, Weapons, Engineering
Group 2 - Tractor
Group 3 - Weapons
Group 4 - Jump
Group 5 - Damage
Here's a different arrangement of positions:
What alternate station assignments have you guys come up with?
I haven't played around with them overmuch, but there's a couple things that would need to be kept in mind:
1. The standalone actions (e.g. Tractor, Jump, DamCon) need to stay standalone, since they predicate on the results of previous stations. (e.g. can't Tractor unless Sensors got a lock).
2. For 3/4 players, you're doing the "group action" stations in two batches, so you need to make sure you're not giving away advantages. For instance, Shields and Helm should stay on the same (later) step because it would be too useful for Shields to know for certain which way the ship would face. (Or less so, for Helm to know where the strong shields will be). Engineering, Sensors, Weapons (loading)... they could all move forward /back, I think. If you wanted to make it harder, you could move the breaches to the larger group (instead of the smaller).
tl;dr - probably the simplest is to let everyone pick one action on 3A and one on 3B. There's no reason I can think of why any particular combination would be bad.