Overview of Starfish Early Alert

Starfish gives you a convenient way to connect with and support your students. If used consistently, Starfish can help improve retention and success for all students.

Once in Starfish you can:

  • Set-up your office hours for students to see and schedule
  • Send messages to students quickly and easily
  • Provide feedback to students by raising "flags" for concerns or sending "kudos" for a job well done
  • Share information with tutors and counselors who may be working with students in special programs
  • Create individualized success plans for students, including referrals to other services and resources on campus

Resources/Guides for Using Starsih


Additional Information

Starfish is a retention solutions software that offers the entire college an electronic way to efficiently collaborate with, and on behalf of students. Students, classified staff, counseling & instructional faculty are able to communicate in order to support students in successfully reaching their academic goals. This Early Alert and Education Planning Tool within Starfish assists CCSF students with course retention and persistence in college from one semester to the next by allowing them to discover and connect to various on-campus resources. CCSF’s resource programs and services can support a students’ needs/goals both in, and out of the classroom.  

Instructors can easily communicate on the progress of students in the classroom to build on their current course practices. Instructors can inform both the student and college of how the student is doing in his/her/their courses. Instructional faculty can also "refer" students to services on campus via Starfish if they notice their students may need some form of personal or academic support. All instructors are encouraged to refer their students to resources and support programs throughout the semester. Once an instructor sends a referral, a designated person (depending on the referral) will contact the student to ensure they are getting connect to their services.  

The information collected from instructors in Starfish can be used by counselors to inform their counseling appointments with students. By obtaining an overall understanding of how students are doing in their courses, counselors can then send out referrals to campus support programs. Additionally, counselors are using Starfish Degree Planner exclusively to complete electronic education plans in partnership with students. The plan creates an outline of classes for students to understand the necessary coursework needed to complete their academic goals - whether it is to transfer to a four year university, complete a certificate, or to earn an associate's degree. Students are encouraged to meet with a counselor a minimum of once a semester to continue the conversation and address any emerging needs or supports. 

Classified staff at CCSF have varying roles in Starfish. They will be able to look up a student on the platform to ensure the students are connecting to the appropriate services that addresses their question or need. Classified staff is able to add any comments for the student/service to best understand the identified need of student already established. Much like other users of Starfish, staff are also able to make/send referrals to services for students.  

Students are currently able to login to Starfish and self-refer themselves to services, "raise their hand" for assistance, and communicate with their support network in Starfish. Soon, students will also be able to view and create their own educational plans in the system, and then meet with a counselor to get them approved. This allows students to see their progress in their current goals anytime of the day or night.  

  • Students can continually check how they are doing in a class
  • Students who are struggling in a class can be notified early in the semester to get connected to the support programs and services they need
  • Students can discover different support services to help keep them on track of their academic goals
  • Starfish can connect students to communication between instructors, academic counselors, and the various support programs on campus

Help Us Improve Starfish!

CCSF and Starfish workgroup are currently updating features and language being used to communicate with all users of Starfish platform. We are also exploring various tools/features not yet implemented. If you are interested in being involved with the workgroup, we are inviting students, counselors, classified staff, instructors, and administrators to join the team. If you are interested... Email Alicia Fausto, Starfish Coordinator at Starfish@ccsf.edu or attend one of our upcoming meetings.