Starfish Early Alert for Faculty and Staff - Counseling Department

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Ohlone is committed to the success of its students by providing an environment conducive to teaching and learning. To ensure that every student takes full advantage of the educational opportunities, the College has implemented a student success program supported through the Starfish: Early Alert System.

The goal of the Early Alert system is to work with students individually and assist in a success plan that aids in overcoming any barrier to college success. The system allows faculty to be proactive, supportive, and involved in facilitating the academic components of student retention through early detection and intervention of students who are experiencing problems.

Note: many faculty who use the EAS choose to include the information above on their syllabus. Feel free to use or modify the above statement.

Ohlone College faculty may submit Early Alerts for students who need help at any point in the semester. Faculty may notify students in their classes who are in danger of failing, not attending regularly or who exhibit low performance, low participation or have missing assignments. Starfish is accessible from WebAdvisor and Canvas. Please review the Staff and Faculty Resources at the bottom of this page. It is strongly recommended that faculty update their Starfish profile review their contact information, setup up email preferences and office hours.

Faculty and Staff Starfish Training

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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 Counseling Department will send out progress surveys in weeks 5 and 10 of the semester prompting faculty to identify students who are in need of help in their courses. The surveys will remain open for one week. Faculty will receive an email, to their Ohlone 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.

Flags, Kudos and Referrals

Using Starfish, faculty may issue flags, kudos and referrals to help any student be more successful.

  • Flags are early alerts about concerns that trigger a notification directly to the student and counseling staff.
  • Kudo are positive messages sent directly to a student to recognize a student’s good work or improvement.
  • Referrals notify students of various support services they may want to utilize.

Faculty Raised Alerts

Faculty are able to raise five different alerts in Starfish:

  • Attendance Concern-Missing/Late Assignments – Raise this alert when a student is not attending regularly or when a student is missing or late with assignments. Please include the number of absences or missing assignments. (No counselor intervention)
  • Low Performance Concern – Raise this when a student scores poorly on any quizzes or tests and or displays poor performance within a course (Counselor will intervene)
  • Participation Concern – Raise this when a student is not exhibiting the required level of participation during class. (No counselor intervention)
  • Behavioral Concern – Raise this when you have a concern with a student's behavior. Beyond normal classroom management. Be aware that if this is an emergency and you think the situation requires immediate attention please contact Campus Police (510-659-6111) and/or Student Health Center (510-659-6258). (Counselor will intervene)
  • In Danger of Failing – Raise this when a student is in danger of failing a course. (Counselor will intervene)

Kudos

Instructors may raise kudos using Starfish. A kudo is positive feedback about a student’s performance that triggers an email to the student and posts a kudos star in a student’s Starfish Center.

  • Keep up the Good Work - Raise this kudo to encourage good work.
  • Showing Improvement - Raise this kudo when a student has shown improvement.
  • Outstanding Academic Performance - Raise this kudo when a student has outstanding academic performance.

Referrals

Instructors may refer students to support services as needed.

  • Counseling - The student is provided with information on how to access the Counseling Department. The Counseling Department will contact all students who are referred to counseling.
  • Tutoring - The student is provided with information on how to access Tutoring Services. Tutoring Services is notified of the referral.
  • Financial Aid - The student is provided with information on how to access the Financial Aid Department. The Financial Aid Department is notified of the referral.

System Alerts

The Starfish program also has the ability to auto-generate “system alerts” to notify students of their progress (or lack thereof) in class. System alerts are only available to instructors who are utilizing a Canvas shells for their courses. Instructors may opt into any the following system alerts by contacting the administrator at Starfish@ohlone.edu:

  • Inactivity Concern in Canvas - (for fully online courses) - Automatic alert which goes out to students who neglect to login to Canvas for 7 (or more) consecutive days.
  • Low Average in a Course – Automatic alert which goes out to students who have a Canvas gradebook score of 70% or lower

Faculty Starfish FAQ

What is Starfish and why are we using it?

Starfish is an Early Alert Retention program used by more than 200 institutions across the country. Ohlone College is using Starfish to improve the success and retention of our students. The goal is to identify students needing assistance and proactively provide them with support to increase their success.

What is the role of faculty with Starfish?

Because faculty have the most formal interaction with students, they play a critical role in early identification of students having trouble in a course, needing academic assistance, having behavior issues and/or needing support in other areas. Faculty can use Starfish to proactively notify student and support services of these concerns so reformative action can be taken and when necessary, outreach can occur.

Where can faculty find the Starfish site?

On the WebAdvisor homepage, the Starfish link will be in the lower left corner of the homepage at the bottom. And in Canvas, the Starfish link should be located in the “Course” link on the menu bar. Detailed instructions can be found here: Starfish Early Alert Instructor Handout (PDF).

What is being asked of faculty?

Instructors are asked to complete a Starfish Progress Survey for students in each of their classes. Faculty will receive notification of the survey, via their Ohlone email, in the 5th and 10th weeks of their courses. Surveys will remain open for a calendar week. Progress surveys are designed to provide quick feedback on what faculty have observed to date in their courses. Specifically, instructors are asked to indicate any of the following for a student in their course:

Concerns:

  • Attendance Concern-Missing/Late Assignments – Raise this alert when a student is not attending regularly or when a student is missing or late with assignments. Please include the number of absences or missing assignments. (No counselor intervention)
  • Low Performance Concern – Raise this when a student scores poorly on any quizzes or tests and or displays poor performance within a course (Counselor will intervene)
  • Participation Concern – Raise this when a student is not exhibiting the required level of participation during class. (No counselor intervention)
  • Behavioral Concern – Raise this when you have a concern with a student's behavior. Beyond normal classroom management. Be aware that if this is an emergency and you think the situation requires immediate attention please contact Campus Police (510-659-6111) and/or Student Health Center (510-659-6258). (Counselor will intervene)
  • In Danger of Failing – Raise this when a student is in danger of failing a course. (Counselor will intervene)

Kudos:

  • Keep up the Good Work - Raise this kudo to encourage good work.
  • Showing Improvement - Raise this kudo when a student has shown improvement.
  • Outstanding Academic Performance - Raise this kudo when a student has outstanding academic performance.

Do I have to complete a progress survey?

In order for our Early Alert system to be effective we strongly encourage faculty to complete a progress survey for each of their courses. Even if there are no concerns to report and students are attending and doing well, having the survey completed will help student services know the status of each student. Faculty can do this by simply going to the survey and clicking submit.

What happens after an alert is raised as a result of a progress survey?

When an alert is raised as a result of a progress survey, the student will receive an automatically generated email and/or text to their personal account. Additionally, members of the Ohlone Student Success Team will also be notified and will follow a protocol of outreach.

What other ways can I use Starfish?

There are many additional ways to help your students succeed and get assistance throughout the term. You can manually raise alerts for students at any time during a term by going to your Starfish account, selecting a student from the Students tab, clicking on their name, and raising a Flag, Kudo or making a Referral.

What happens after an alert is raised outside of the progress survey periods?

When a flag is raised outside of the progress survey periods, the student will receive an automatically generated email and/or text to their personal account with any comments faculty enter. Please note the "Behavioral Concern" flag does not go to the student, instead a member of the Counseling Department is notified and will outreach to the student as needed.

How can you track what happens after an alert is raised?

In situations that require the Counseling department to initiate an intervention, you, the flag raiser, should receive an email in your Ohlone College account notifying you once some successful outreach has occurred. The counselor’s comments should be included so that you are aware that some intervention was attempted.

Are faculty being monitored on their Starfish usage?

No, however, we do keep track of faculty completion of Starfish Progress Surveys.

Who should you contact with any questions or concerns about using Starfish?

For questions about Ohlone College's Early Alert program please contact Starfish@ohlone.edu

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