Starfish for Advisors and Program Coordinators

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How should advisors use Starfish?

UNCG uses Starfish in two different ways:

1) Starfish EARLY ALERT is an early warning and student tracking system at UNCG that takes a more holistic approach to student success rather than concentrating solely on students with traditional at-risk characteristics. Starfish EARLY ALERT relies on reporting by the campus community to identify students who need additional academic support.

At any point in the semester, instructors can raise alert flags, congratulatory kudos, and helpful referrals to provide students with feedback. To allow for more efficient reporting, instructors will receive an email invitation to complete Academic Status Reports (ASR) at 4 and 7 weeks of each semester and will be asked to make note of academic and/or personal concerns. Instructors of first-year students and student-athletes will also receive an invitation to complete a 12-week ASR. Here are the options for feedback that instructors may provide:

• Flags are used to let students know of an instructor’s concern for their performance. Instructors can raise academic flags (excessive absences, low test/quiz scores, and unsatisfactory coursework) and behavioral flags (academic integrity concerns, disruptive behavior, and personal concerns).

Kudos are used to recognize student accomplishments and to congratulate them on their academic performance. Instructors can provide kudos for students who are showing improvement in the course or who are showing outstanding academic performance.

• Referrals can be raised to suggest a helpful campus resource that may aid in a student’s academic performance. Referrals may currently be issues to the following offices: Student Success Center, University Writing and Speaking Centers, the Math Help Center, Career Services Center, Students First Office, and International Student Services & Support (IPC).

If you are a student’s academic advisor or program coordinator, you will have access to the flags, kudos, and referrals that were raised on your student through Starfish. Advisors and support staff are encouraged to reach out to students who have received flags to provide additional assistance. Reaching out to these students can mean emailing them, meeting with them, or triaging their concerns in order to direct them to helpful resources on campus. Once a student’s concern has been addressed, advisors can clear the flag in Starfish so that the student’s support network knows that they have been taken care of. Advisors can write notes in a student’s Starfish folder for other professionals in the support network to view. Advisors are also able to “Close the Loop” with the instructor who raised the flag by informing them of any flag resolutions your student has made and closing the tracking trail.

2) Starfish CONNECT allows advisors to post appointment availability in Starfish so students can easily make appointments to discuss advising topics or concerns. This appointment management system ensures that students, faculty, and staff stay connected and save time scheduling appointments. Advisors can customize appointment preferences including appointment name, length, scheduling deadlines, locations, and instructions. Office hours can be set up on a recurring basis or as a one-time occurrence and can be limited to a specific population of students (i.e. your advisees or students in your courses). Advisors can also set email reminder and notification preferences to suit their needs. Lastly, Starfish offers advisors the ability to sync their Starfish calendars with an iSpartan calendar to allow for easier calendar management and avoidance of double-booking. For instructions on how to sync your calendars, please refer to our instructional guide on the Starfish How-To website.

Many advising centers are already using Starfish as their primary scheduling system. Advisors who use Starfish for online scheduling should direct their students to the tutorial located in the Starfish How-To page to learn how to use Starfish CONNECT to schedule appointments.

What else do advisors need to know?

Starfish offers advisors the ability to refer students to specific services at UNCG. Currently, referral options include the Student Success Center, University Writing and Speaking Centers, the Math Help Center, Career Services Center, Students First Office, and International Student Services & Support (IPC).

When a student is referred to a service, they are instantly notified and will receive additional information about how to sign up for that service. Advisors should refer to the Starfish How-To page for instructions on raising referrals.

How are advisors kept up to date on Starfish news and features?

New academic advisors will learn about Starfish when they attend the Academic Advising Institute hosted by the Office of Retention Initiatives. Starfish updates are communicated to all advisors at the beginning and end of each semester via Campus Weekly. Additionally, a Starfish newsletter is emailed twice each semester to inform UNCG staff of any important updates, news, and events related to Starfish. The newsletter is sent to all undergraduate course instructors and advisors. All released newsletters for the academic year are also accessible on this page at any time.

How do advisors use these features?

For step-by-step guides and tutorials on how to use Starfish EARLY ALERT and CONNECT features, refer to the Starfish How-To page. Advisors and staff who have Starfish questions can also contact the Starfish Outreach Team at starfish@uncg.edu for additional help. Starfish 101 workshop sessions are posted to workshops.uncg.edu every semester to meet the ongoing training needs of the campus community.