Submitted by Student Development

Starfish is an important tool that supports student’s academic success by allowing faculty to communicate with the student’s assigned advisors if a student is struggling in a course. Faculty can raise a Starfish flag or kudo for any student in their course, alerting advisors that an outreach is needed. Starfish surveys are another way to provide student feedback and alert advisors when a student might need extra support.

The first set of Fall 2020 Starfish Progress Surveys launched on Monday, September 14, 2020, and are due by Sunday, October 4. Please be sure to complete this survey so that we can provide the necessary support to students who may be struggling in an online learning environment.

What happens when you raise a flag?

  • The assigned advisor attempts to reach the student by phone and email to address concerns and provide support.
  • If the advisor is not able to reach the student after 2 attempts within 10 business days, they will clear the flag with a note to the faculty member who raised the flag.
  • If the advisor is successful in reaching the student, they will offer support via email, and encourage a virtual appointment.

What types of concerns do advisors address?

  • If a student in your course has missed several assignments, missed more than one class, or is not engaging on Blackboard on a regular basis, the advisor can offer support to students about time management, can assess academic and non-academic needs and make the appropriate referrals (i.e. Counseling Services, Hawks Care, Academic Support Center, etc).

What types of concerns are best addressed by the faculty member?

  • We think it’s always best for faculty members to reach out to their students directly, with feedback about course progress and concerns. If a student has missed one assignment or is showing the first signs of lack of engagement in Blackboard discussions, it would be most beneficial for the student to hear directly from you as their instructor.
  • If the student is unresponsive to you, feel free to raise a flag so that the assigned advisor can also attempt an outreach to the student.

Online learning can be challenging for many students. It is more critical than ever for faculty and advisors to work together, and keep communication lines open so that we can support student success during these challenging times. Please reach out to a student’s assigned advisor directly for a consultation if you feel it would be helpful. You can locate the assigned advisor for your students in Starfish.

Learn more about partnering for student success using Starfish by watching this short video.

Thank you for your support as we work together as part of each student’s “Network of Success”.

Questions? Need Assistance? We’re ready to help! Contact us for “desk side support” or a quick Q & A anytime. Just email us at or call 847.925.6220 for assistance.