Starfish for Faculty
Help your students succeed in the classroom


Starfish Early Alert can help you and your students make every term successful. Starfish is an early warning and student tracking tool which collects and shares information while facilitating interventions that leverage existing campus resources. Use Starfish to activate a network of support that extends well beyond the classroom. In other words, with Starfish, you can engage with more students more frequently to promote their academic success.

Using Starfish, you can acknowledge your student’s performance and progress throughout the entire term. 

When a student earns special recognition for improvement or good work, use Starfish to send a Kudo (positive reinforcement) celebrating their efforts. If a student begins to struggle, you can raise a Flag (early warning) in Starfish to notify them at the very first sign of getting off track. Flags are opportunities for students to get support and develop a plan for recovery and course completion. When students require assistance outside of the classroom, you can use Starfish to initiate a Referral with institutional resources such as tutoring or counseling.


Faculty can manually raise Flags, Kudos, or Referrals for students. You can also participate in the progress survey two times a semester (for a traditional 16- week term) to provide all student in your class(es) feedback in an instant.

When a student… You can use Starfish for… To say to the student…
Deserves positive recognition KUDOS
  • “Keep up the good work” to congratulate them for their outstanding work.
  • “Showing improvement” to encourage them to continue working towards improvement.
Is struggling with their class FLAGS
  • “Attendance Concerns” to warn them of missing one or more class sessions (or equivalent online classes)
  • “Missing assignments” to warn those who missed one or more assignments.
  • “Academic Progress Concern” which initiates a Counseling intervention.
Needs assistance outside of the classroom REFERRALS
  • “Writing & Reading Tutoring” to initiate an intervention for the student to receive tutoring in writing and reading.
  • “Library Research Assistance” to initiate an intervention for research assistance
  • “Career & Transfer Services” to initiate an intervention for career or transfer services

Progress Surveys

Starfish makes providing feedback for your entire classes easy and quick. During weeks 4 and 9 of a 16-week semester, you will have access to a Progress Survey to batch-raise kudos and flags for all students in your class(es). It’s as easy as clicking boxes next to student names from your course roster.


The workflows give you a high-level perspective of how information flows in a virtual platform for each of the tracking items. Moreover, the table includes information about who can initiate tracking items and who is responsible for resolving them.

What is the Situation? What Should I Raise? Who Should Initiate? Who Resolves It?
Attendance Concern FLAG Instructor Instructor
Missing Assignment FLAG Instructor Instructor
In Danger of Failing FLAG Instructor Triaged by Counselor
Writing & Reading Center REFERRAL Instructor Instructional Specialist
Transfer Center REFERRAL Instructor Transfer Center Staff
Get Involved in Campus REFERRAL Instructor Student Life Staff
Research Assistance REFERRAL Instructor Librarian
Keep Up the Good Work KUDO Instructor N/A
Showing Improvement KUDO Instructor N/A

Using Starfish

Before using the Starfish Early Alert, it is important to attend a training session to learn more about the functions and features of the system and create your user profile. By introducing Starfish to your students on the first day of class (and in your syllabus), you encourage them to use the system as a beneficial tool in their academic pursuits. And by using the Progress Surveys, you will provide valuable feedback to your students.

Sample Syllabus Language

You may find it helpful to make an announcement in class or post something to Canvas to alert students about your use of Starfish Early Alert for the course. In addition, the faculty is encouraged to include a statement in their syllabus about Starfish Early Alert. A sample is included below: 

I will be using Starfish Early Alert in this class to provide you with feedback about your academic performance.  The feedback will be in the form of “flags” and “kudos”. Flags are tied to academic concerns like attendance or missing assignments that may negatively impact your grade. Kudos are given to promote and encourage strong academic performance. Starfish Early Alert will allow me to more easily connect you with support resources so you can be successful. Don’t forget to set up your profile. For more information go to

Training Schedule

Date Time Location
Wednesday, Sept. 5 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
5:00 – 6:00 pm
LAC, L-252
Thursday, Sept. 6 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
6:00 – 7:00 pm
LAC, L-252
Tuesday, Sept. 11 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
PCC, LL-206
Wednesday, Sept. 12 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm PCC, LL-206