Starfish is a higher education technology product aimed at helping students finish what they start. Starfish helps institutions identify at-risk students in real time, based on their daily course work performance and faculty concerns. Starfish can connect students to the resources designed to help (e.g., advising or tutoring), all while assessing which services and interventions are most effective.

Starfish simplifies communication between faculty and student services, eases the burden on students who need to contact support services, and optimizes student success at your institution. Our goal is to ensure that 100% of students receive the support they need to meet their goals.

Why Valpo is Using Starfish

Based on experiences from other universities, Starfish is expected to:

  • Enhance communication between instructors, advisers, and staff
    Centralize advising resources
  • Ensure students receive the help they need
  • Save faculty time coordinating student support resources and scheduling appointments
  • Improve student, faculty, and program success
  • Increase the number of students passing courses
  • Improve retention and graduation rates

The Starfish Seven

  • Faculty can refer students to academic advising and financial aid.
  • Faculty can formally recognize students for positive contributions. Kudos provide a record of achievement.
  • Faculty can raise flags which notify the student and the relevant parties about potential concerns such as academic, behavioral, and finance.
Progress Surveys
  • After the drop/add period ends, faculty can identify students who have not attended (instead of using email). Within the first seven weeks and again during the second seven weeks of the term, a survey will ask faculty to report student academic performance.
Student Profiles
  • Based on your relationship (i.e. advising or teaching), faculty can view student’s profiles that include flags, kudos, grades, referrals, and notes.
Office Hours
  • Faculty can enter their office hours in Starfish so students can use Starfish to make appointments online.
  • Advisers can record and share notes with student support services.

The Starfish Story

A young man is walking along the ocean and sees a beach on which thousands and thousands of starfish have washed ashore. Further along he sees an old man, walking slowly and stooping often, picking up one starfish after another and tossing each one gently into the ocean.

“Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?” he asks.

“Because the sun is up and the tide is going out and if I don’t throw them further in they will die.”

“But, old man, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it! You can’t possibly save them all, you can’t even save one-tenth of them. In fact, even if you work all day, your efforts won’t make any difference at all.”

The old man listened calmly and then bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the sea. “It made a difference to that one.”