About Starfish

Starfish is an online student success and advising tool aimed at improving day-to-day service for students, staff, and faculty. Seattle Colleges uses Starfish to help current and newly admitted students connect with their advisors, instructors, and other services such as tutoring and financial aid; to support current students in receiving timely support from members of their success teams; and to provide students with individualized tasks and education plans to keep them on track to reach their academic goals.

Students can use Starfish to:

  • Schedule advising appointments and find information about drop-in advising hours
  • Make appointments with tutors and find information about drop-in tutoring services
  • Schedule other kinds of appointments with campus services
  • Access information about student support services on campus
  • View their current instructors and courses 
  • Find digital to-do items and checklists assigned by their advisors
  • View all messages sent from advisors, instructors, and other services through Starfish
  • Request follow-up support from campus services
  • Create individualized education plans in Starfish Degree Planner

Below is a sample services screen in Starfish. Click image for larger version.


More than 30 student services departments at each of the Seattle Colleges are available to students, including:

  • Academic Advising
  • Financial Aid 
  • Running Start
  • Seattle Promise
  • TRIO
  • Bachelor's Degree Programs
  • Veterans Services
  • Workforce
  • Tutoring Centers
  • Career Centers and/or WorkSource
  • Project Baldwin
  • Student Support Programs
  • New Student Services: Admissions & Entry Navigators, Welcome Center, One Stop
  • and more!


Starfish at Seattle Colleges and Other Regional Colleges

Seattle Colleges has been using Starfish to improve communication and day-to-day services for students since May 1, 2019. 

In addition to being used at Seattle Colleges, Starfish is currently in use at other community and technical colleges in Washington, including South Puget Sound Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College District, Everett Community College, Shoreline Community College, Lake Washington Tech, and Bid Bend. It's used by more than 450 community colleges and universities across the country.


Starfish and Privacy

Starfish is FERPA compliant and uses a robust and flexible combination of roles, relationships, and privileges to govern access to system tools, enter notes, and view student information. Seattle Colleges maintains control over the student data and makes all decisions about who can access information. We have worked with a cross-functional team of student services staff, IT, and others to carefully configure access.

Generally speaking:

  • Instructors will see only the records of students currently in their classes.
  • Students cannot see any information about other students.
  • For instructional and student services staff, we have balanced privacy with the understanding that staff need basic access to student information to provide a high level of service.

For more information and better understanding of working with student information, please enroll in FERPA Training for Seattle Colleges via Get Inclusive app (accessed through MySeattleColleges login).