Starfish for Advisors and Other Staff

Starfish is a robust student success and retention platform that streamlines communication and collaboration between students, faculty, and student services teams, making it easier to support the success of all our students. Seattle Colleges has over 600 advisors, tutors, financial aid specialists, and other staff using Starfish daily to improve how they support students. 

Advisors and other staff can use Starfish to:

  • Schedule and document meetings and workshops with students.
  • Create tasks and Success Plans to support student progress toward their academic goals.
  • View and manage their advising caseloads.
  • Add case notes about students for other advisors to reference.
  • Manage drop-in advising queues.
  • Communicate with instructors who have reached out through instructor-raised notifications and referrals.


All student services and instructional division staff, as well as faculty who have non-instructional positions, should enroll in and complete the Starfish New User Training for Staff course (in Canvas) before getting started. The course takes about 90 minutes to complete and provides a general overview of the system for staff and students. 

Additionally, all staff and faculty can find over 80 pages of step-by-step visual guides and videos by enrolling in Seattle Colleges staff and faculty Starfish resources in Canvas.

Check out these modules:

  • Starfish Basics
  • Getting Started: Profiles and Office Hours
  • Making and Managing Appointments
  • Communicating with Students using Starfish
  • Faculty Specific Guides: Ways Faculty can use Starfish
  • Tutoring Centers: Resources for Tutoring Coordinators and Tutors
  • Educational Planning with Degree Planner
  • Tracking Items, Success Plans, and Progress Surveys
  • Appointment Kiosks


Access to Starfish and other Requests

All staff, including faculty with non-instructional positions, must be given a set of security roles and privileges in the system. Please have your supervisor submit a user request via an IT Services support ticket.

Please submit all user, service, kiosk, and other Starfish requests via an IT Services support ticket.


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).