Starfish Early Alert

Starfish® EARLY ALERT is an early warning and tracking system at UIS that takes a holistic approach to student success. Starfish® is linked through Blackboard and relies on reporting by the campus community to identify students who need additional academic support and connect them to the appropriate resources.

Starfish® EARLY ALERT utilizes academic flags, referrals, and kudos to notify students and advisors of student needs and accomplishments. Instructors receive links to Starfish® Flag Surveys via email and will be asked to make note of academic concerns such as excessive absences, low test/quiz scores, or unsatisfactory coursework, and make referrals for tutoring or personal concerns as appropriate. They will also be able to raise “kudos” on students to congratulate them on their academic performance. Links to the surveys are emailed to instructors at three strategic times during the semester – immediately after census, at midterm, and just before the final course withdrawal deadline.

Instructors of courses participating in Starfish® Early Alert are encouraged to include a statement in the course syllabus   informing students that the course participates in the Starfish® Early Alert system and will be utilized to report concerns about academic success in the course.  A sample is provided at this link: Syllabus insert -Starfish Early Alert System (PDF).

In addition to the flag surveys, instructors, advisors, and other academic support units on campus may log into the Starfish system and manually raise flags, referrals, and kudos anytime in the term. The earlier an alert is raised, the better chance we have of identifying potential roadblocks to academic success and implementing an appropriate intervention plan. Students also are very responsive to kudos that let them know their efforts are recognized and appreciated.

If you are a student’s academic advisor, you will receive an email notification when a flag, referral, or kudos has been raised, and have access to the details through the Starfish® system. The notification provides an opportunity for you to contact your advisee, help assess the severity of the situation, and put an appropriate intervention plan into place. An advantage of Starfish® is that we are able to reach out to students who are struggling but may not know where to turn for help. Once a student’s concern has been addressed, you or the individual raising the flag or resolving the issue will be able to “Clear the Flag” in Starfish® so that all professionals in the student’s support network know the student is once again succeeding. Starfish® also provides a centralized location for all professionals who participate in the intervention plan to note their contacts with the student and the student’s progress.