Starfish FAQ

What is Starfish?

Starfish is an early warning and student tracking system designed to increase student retention and success. This online platform allows faculty to provide students with direct feedback about their course performance in the form of kudos, flags, and messages. When an instructor flags a student who may be struggling or facing barriers that make it difficult for the student to succeed in class, appropriate programs and offices are notified so that they can reach out to the student to provide additional support.

Why Are We Using Starfish?

Starfish is an early alert retention system used by many postsecondary institutions across the United States. Starfish will replace an early alert system currently in use at FLC called SARS Early Alert. The goal is to use Starfish to identify students that are having trouble in a class or need assistance so that appropriate student support program staff (such as counseling and tutoring) can proactively reach out to the student to provide support to help the student stay and succeed in their classes.  

When will Starfish be implemented?

The Los Rios Community College District has contracted with Hobsons Starfish to provide a robust early alert tool for colleges within the district to use. FLC's implementation team is working with the District Office and sister colleges to plan, configure, and make Starfish available for campus use. Starfish began to be available during the Spring 2020 semester. FLC's implementation team is in the process of developing a training plan to provide faculty and staff information about this new tool. More information about training events and resources will be posted on this webpage.   

Who is on the Starfish Implementation Team?

FLC's Starfish Implementation Team is comprised of faculty leads, student service and instructional administrators and staff, and representatives from research and information technology representatives.

  • Executive Sponsor: Sonia Ortiz-Mercado
  • Project Lead: Molly Senecal
  • Student Services and Instructional Faculty Co-Leads: Amber Longhitano and Carlos Lopez
  • IT: Jim Cosentino
  • IT Supervisor: Jeff Lewis
  • Research: Molly Senecal
  • Student Services Dean: Kellie Butler and Kathy Degan
  • Instructional Dean: Vicky Maryatt
  • A & R Supervisor: Christine Wuzer
  • Counseling Supervisor: Ronda Callaway
  • Counselors: Chris Clark, Jill Morrison, and Michael Tavares
  • Student Services Supervisors and Staff:  Libby Cook, Valerie Chueh, and Sharisse Estomo
  • Student Representative: To Be Appointed

What is the Role of Success Coach?

Success Coaches are staff persons who are assigned as the first point-of-contact for categorical support programs, learning communities, or HomeBases (based on meta-majors). They provide support for case management and early alert referrals.

  • Serve as the contact point for students
  • Answer general questions and facilitate connections to appropriate support services
  • Respond to and assign referrals
  • Collaborate with respective success team
  • Coordinate interventions for students
  • Connect with instructional faculty regarding early alert referrals and student progress
  • Participate in support of orientations as applicable
  • Oversee Peer Mentors (for specific programs that offer this service)

What is the Role of Faculty With Starfish?

Given that faculty have the most ongoing interaction with students each semester, they play a critical role in early identification of students that are having trouble in a class, need additional academic support, have attendance issues, miss assignments, or have low scores. Faculty will be able to use Starfish to notify the student and appropriate campus programs and offices so that proactive outreach to the student may occur.

What are Progress Surveys?

A progress survey is a snapshot of how students are doing in a course and is intended to notify the student (and/or other campus services) of their progress. The Soar to Success team will send out progress surveys a few weeks after the start of the course (the date of survey deployment will be different for full term, 8W1, and 8W2 courses) prompting faculty to identify students who may be in need of help in their courses. The surveys will remain open for a couple of weeks. Faculty will receive an email, to their Los Rios email account, notifying them the survey is open and providing a link to complete the survey. A follow up reminder email will also go out prior to the survey closing.

Who Sees What?

Below are the tracking items and the message that students see in Starfish. The green highlighted text below is where any custom note or message from the faculty would appear in the email template.

Tracking Item Message to Students

[College] Good Job!
(Grade of A, B)

From
noreply@losrios.edu

Reply To
REPLACE.THIS@yourschool.edu

Subject
[Starfish] Kudos! Keep up the good work from [College]!

Dear Rachel,

Great Effort!

Has maintained a 98% in the class.

I appreciate your efforts which are contributing to your success. Keep it up!

Sincerely,

[College]

[College] Satisfactory Progress
(Grade of C)

Dear Rachel,

Your professor has indicated that you are currently performing at a satisfactory level in your course. You are encouraged to contact your professor if you need help or have any questions.

Additional Comments: Rachel missed 3 classes this month.

[College] Must Improve to Pass
(Grade of D, F)

From
noreply@losrios.edu

Reply To
REPLACE.THIS@yourschool.edu

Subject
[Starfish] Immediate help needed in your Introduction to Microbiology class!

Dear Rachel,

You are currently not progressing to receive a passing grade in your  Introduction to Microbiology class, and I want to help you succeed. It is common for students to encounter challenges in courses and overcome them by enacting a plan for success. 

Rachel missed 3 classes this month.

Students who use campus services are more likely to be successful. You are encouraged to check out your connections by logging into My Success Network and also some services available to you in My Services. We are here to help!

Sincerely,

[College]

[College] Attendance Concerns

From
noreply@losrios.edu

Reply To
REPLACE.THIS@yourschool.edu

Subject
[Starfish] We have missed you in all or part of your Introduction to Microbiology class.

Dear Rachel,

Attendance, punctuality, and meeting deadlines is vital to your academic success.

Rachel missed 3 classes this month.

Students who use campus services are more likely to be successful. You are encouraged to check out your connections by logging into My Success Network and also some services available to you in My Services. We are here to help!

Sincerely,

[College] 

[College] Connect with Your Instructor

From
noreply@losrios.edu

Reply To
REPLACE.THIS@yourschool.edu

Subject
[Starfish] Connect for Academic Support in your Introduction to Microbiology class.

Dear Rachel,

I'm writing because I want to discuss your attendance, assignments or participation in class. Your success is important to me. Please contact me by email or phone. 

Additional Notes: Rachel missed 3 classes this month.
Due Date: 4/27/2014 9:00 PM PDT

Your classmates have found also helpful connections in their My Success Network in Starfish. Check it out!

Sincerely,

Yolanda Gold

Students do NOT get a message and do NOT see:

  • [College] General Referral