Starfish Early Alert for Students - Counseling Department

Starfish Early Alert allows an instructor to notify a student when there is a concern about performance or success in a class. Early Alerts may identify frequent absences, missed assignments, low scores, or possible failure in a class. Starfish also allows instructors to raise kudos to celebrate a student’s success in a class or make referrals to support services when needed. Students who receive early alerts, kudos or referrals will receive an email and notification in the Starfish Student Center.

Starfish is accessible from WebAdvisor and Canvas. Once students log into Starfish, it is strongly recommended they update their Starfish profile with a brief biography and review their email address and phone number to ensure accuracy.

Early Alerts are not grades, nor are they a form of punishment. Early Alerts are a great way for faculty and student support services staff to communicate to students that a change may be necessary for academic success, as well as identify additional resources that may support a student's learning.

When an instructor raises an alert, notification is sent directly to the student. Ohlone respects your privacy. Though all instructors have access to Starfish, Early Alerts are only visible to the instructor who raised the flag, the student, and the Ohlone Student Success Team. Starfish is protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

A student needs to be aware that withdrawing from a class could affect financial aid status and eligibility. All students receiving financial aid should consult with a counselor and the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing from a class.

Getting Help

All students need help in college, but sometimes it is difficult to know who or what to ask. Students should talk to their instructor about the problem as soon as possible to get recommendations for how to improve in their course.

Additionally, seek help through the many academic support services available to all students. Ohlone College provides a number of services and resources free of charge to students; these include: Online Counseling, Tutoring Services, Counseling, the Disable Students Programs and Services and much more.

Student Starfish FAQ

What is Starfish Early Alert?

Starfish Early Alert allows an instructor to notify a student when there is a concern about performance or success in a class. Early Alerts, may identify frequent absences, missed assignments or exams, or failure in a class. Starfish also allows instructors to raise kudos to celebrate a student’s success or improvement in a class. Students who receive early alerts, kudos or referrals will receive an email and notification in the Starfish Student Center.

Students can benefit from Starfish by:

  • Getting early and individualized feedback and contact from concerned members on campus.
  • Receiving Starfish notifications by email or text.
  • Becoming motivated as a result of receiving positive, encouraging messages from instructors and other individuals on campus.

Why did I get a "kudo"?

A student receives a "kudo" through the Starfish Early Alert system if an instructor chooses to acknowledge improving or outstanding work in a course.

Why did I get an “alert notification”?

An instructor wanted to alert you that they are concerned about your progress in the class in regards to one of the following...

  • Attendance-Missing/Late Assignments
  • Low Performance
  • Low Participation
  • In Danger of Failing

Does an “alert” mean I am failing a class?

Receiving an “alert” does not necessarily mean you are failing a class. You may need to consider what steps to take to address the concern.

Is an Early Alert put on my permanent academic record?

No. Notices are part of the Early Alert system and are not part of your permanent record.

What should I do if I am contacted with an Early Alert notification?

First, remember, you are not "in trouble." We are here to help you be successful in your educational experience. If you are contacted with an alert, please take action on the concern raised by your instructor. If you need help, please consider utilizing our services, such as Online Counseling, tutoring through the Tutoring Services, Counseling, the Disable Students Programs and Services and much more.

Student Resources

Student Video Links