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Palomar College Learning For Success

Faculty FAQs

Starfish is a student success tool used by more than 200 institutions across the country. Starfish Early Alert helps us identify students in need of extra assistance.

Early Alert allows you to raise class alerts and make referrals to campus resources for each student as needed.

You may raise an alert if you:

  1. Have not been able to reach a student
  2. Want to recognize a student for their effort (Kudo)
  3. Believe a student may be experiencing challenges accessing technology
  4. Want to notify a student regarding incomplete/missing work/low scores
  5. Want to encourage more class engagement (post questions on CANVAS, participate in chats, use the raise your hand feature in Zoom)
  6. Want to refer a student to tutoring

You can find Starfish Early Alert on CANVAS or by logging in to the Single Sign-On Portal.


Click on Courses in the Canvas Left Navigation. Open any course and select the Starfish link.















Single Sign-On Portal

Click on the Starfish Early Alert tile

A progress survey is a way to assess your students’ progress in class and issue alerts to those who need it. For the rest of the semester, you may continue to issue alerts to students one at a time.  

When you raise an alert, students will get an email notification from you (click here to view the email templates). Student Services personnel will also see the notification and will reach out to students via other modalities (i.e., phone, email, texting) to share campus resources that may benefit them. They will also use Starfish to update you regarding the status of each student your raise an alert for. We call this closing the loop or resolving the alert.

Using Starfish, faculty may issue kudos, alerts, and referrals to help students be more successful in their classes. CLICK here to view a list of all alerts and referral templates.

You may raise alerts using a Progress Survey. A Progress Survey allows you to view all your students for each of your classes at once during a specific time period. The table below outlines when a Progress Survey will open and close. This is the time period when you will want to login to Starfish to complete your Progress Surveys. This fall, we are expanding Early Alert beyond our 16-week session to include 4W1, 4W2, 4W3, 4W4, FT1 and FT2 courses. There will be reminders on your Starfish faculty dashboard with the Progress Survey open and close date for each session. After a Progress Survey closes, you may continue to issue alerts to students one at a time.

Session Progress Survey Opens Progress Survey Closes
16-Week 9/8/2020 9/28/2020
4W1 9/3/2020 9/19/2020
4W2 9/25/2020 10/10/2020
4W3 10/23/2020 11/14/2020
4W4 11/21/2020 12/19/2020
FT1 9/4/2020 9/18/2020
FT2 10/30/2020 11/20/2020


We encourage you to use our suggested syllabus notification to let students know how your class is using the Early Alert system.

Students will also be directed to this website to access videos on how to use Early Alert.

YES! If you have not filled out a progress survey on Starfish Early Alert before, we strongly recommend you view the online training available on your PD Portal.  This video shows you how to access Starfish Early Alert, how to find the progress survey and complete it, and how to individually issue alerts.  Search for “What is Starfish Early Alert?” in the search box on the top right hand corner.

You can also contact for individual assistance.  

We are using this website to share all information of the implementation process, including new features, usage data, survey results, and important milestones.