Starfish News And Updates

Welcome to Summer 2017!

Welcome, and welcome back, to all faculty, advisors, and support network administrators and personnel. We hope your summer is off to a good start.

Thank you to everyone who submitted Flags, Referrals, and Kudos manually or through the Starfish Progress Surveys last semester. While the number of concern flags remained about the same, there were several more referrals, and more kudos than ever last year. Also, thank you to all the advisors and support personnel for your utilization of the Starfish software to monitor and document your support of our students’ success. We are looking forward to another great semester of students succeeding through engagement with you and the Starfish platform. And, as always, thank you to all the behind the scenes IT support personnel and unit administrators who maintain the Starfish interface.

Starfish Student Success Advisory Board

We are still in the process of creating an official advisory board comprised of faculty, advisors, support personnel, and students. This board will help shape policies and guide the future direction of the Early Alert and Student Success program. We expect the time commitment to be two or three meetings during the academic year, plus an occasional review of new offerings and developments from Starfish/Hobsons. We anticipate having our first meeting in September.  If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please send an email to

Prepare for your summer surveys

All 100, 200, and 300 level gateway-to-the-major courses are automatically included in the Early Alert Surveys. We will once again have two summer surveys – the first after week one, to capture any obvious non-attendance and make sure students are off to a good start.  The second survey will deploy June 30th, right at midterm, so we have sufficient time to connect students to the appropriate resources before the final withdrawal date, July 14th.  Remember, you can always manually raise a concern flag, make a referral, or send a kudo anytime during the semester; you do not have to wait for a survey.

Now is the time to consider adding your 300 or 400 level courses to the Summer and Fall 2017 Progress Surveys. Even if you prefer not to utilize the surveys but would like to connect students in your courses to the support resources accessible through the UIS Early Alert and Student Success network, please send your course name, number, and CRN to

If your course participates in any of the Early Alert surveys, please consider adding a statement to your syllabus letting students know they could receive alerts regarding their academic performance as their success is your primary interest.  Follow this link to a sample statement (PDF).

Starfish CONNECT Preparations

Still trying to figure out how to use Starfish to help your students? Visit the How To’s section of the Instructor Advisor Only web page.

Update your Starfish Advisor Rel course in Blackboard

As an advisor, your StarfishAdvisorRel course helps you stay in contact with all your advisees. Now is the time to update your enrollments. You must manually remove students you are no longer advising – see the guide below. How To Update Student Roster Manually In Blackboard Course (PDF).

Note for new faculty:  If you joined the UIS faculty this past fall or spring, a Starfish Advisor Rel BB course was created for you. Each semester after census, the course enrollment is updated with your current advisees based on the advisor assignment in Banner. Check with your department chair and/or office administrative support to be sure students you are assigned to advise have been updated on the Multiple Advisor screen in Banner to ensure the accuracy of your advisee assignments and their enrollment in your Starfish Advisor BB course.. Once your course is established in BB, you may manually update your users at any time.  Because of BB limitations, you must manually remove students you are no longer advising from the course.

Establish/Update your Starfish Profile

If you are new to Starfish, follow the Getting Started Guide (PDF) to establish your profile in Starfish. This allows your students to get to know you better and establishes easy access for questions and monitoring progress. If you already have a Starfish profile, check to see that you have access to all students you teach and advise in your current courses through the Connection filter on the Students tab.

CONNECT with your students

The Starfish software has several features that allow you and your students to stay in touch in and beyond the classroom. You may take attendance through the Attendance Tab. You can easily document consultations with students regarding their progress using the Note button. Creating office hours in Starfish encourages students to seek your assistance to be successful. If you’d like assistance with any of these features, please contact your college professional advisor or send an email to

Fall 2017 Starfish Trainings and Professional Development

The Starfish Overview Training is a three-part training to familiarize new users, (and refresh current users) with the Starfish software features. The Overview Training will be scheduled in early September. Drop-in open labs are also offered during the Progress Survey periods. Watch email and campus announcements for exact days and times. One-on-one and departmental trainings can be scheduled on request by sending an email to