The Class of 1963 Center for Academic Excellence

Starfish★ Help

We all have the same mission at USNA, and Starfish★ is one software tool to help get everyone on the same page regarding our students' academic success.  Click on one of the tabs below and then scroll down to learn more about how midshipmen, faculty, tutors, etc. can all use Starfish★ to help accomplish the mission.

What is Starfish★ and how will it help me?

Starfish★ is web-based software that helps students achieve academic success by connecting:

  • Students
  • Academic advisers
  • Professors
  • Academic support service providers:
    • Evening Tutors
    • MGSP Leaders
    • Supplemental Instruction class instructors
    • The Writing Center 
  • Faculty leadership
  • Company Officers and Senior Enlisted Leaders
  • Coaches
  • Officer representatives

Who can access Starfish★?

Nearly every user with a Naval Academy email account and a connection to midshipmen can log in to Starfish★.  It is available both on and off the Yard, and there is no need for another username or password to remember, as your log in credentials are identical to your standard USNA account.  Additionally, course information and contact information is automatically populated from MIDS.  Simply log in.

Please see the above tabs for more information on why and how to use Starfish★.

Why should I use Starfish★?

  1. Starfish★ helps you quickly connect to the academic support you need to accomplish the mission.  Students primarily use Starfish★ to make appointments with academic advisers for advising sessions, professors for Extra Instruction (E.I.) or the Academic Center for support services and workshops.
  2. Starfish★ interfaces with your USNA Gmail and Google Calendar.  If you schedule an appointment, you can get a reminder email automatically sent to your issued laptop (or personal smart phone if you have one).  No more embarrassing missed meetings with your professor or showing up at the wrong place or time.
  3. Starfish★ records the services and meetings you attend.The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) has access to this data and tracks it regularly.  The data is helpful if your professor wants to keep track of how regularly you seek E.I. or other services.  This may be used to determine extra credit, track information for MAPRs, or even information for an Academic Board--which determines whether students are separated from USNA.
  4. Starfish★ credentials are the same as your USNA information. You already have an account, simply log in.

How do I use Starfish★?

  1. Open a new window in your browser, and log in to Starfish★ using your USNA credentials.
  2. "Customize Your Profile" if this is your first time logging in.  Add your preferred email and set up your "Reminder Preferences" to ensure you are notified about appointments as you wish in a timely manner.  You may also consider uploading a dashing photo of yourself to make it easier for people to find you!
  3. You can either click on the "Home" tab, or the "Services" tab.  Or you can click on your name in the top right of the screen to update your personal preferences again (step two).  See below about the differences between the two tabs.

About the "Home" tab

The "Home" tab is near the top left of the window, (but it is beneath the USNA banner).  It is the main page.  It shows you four fields that you should maximize (by clicking the little boxes) for maximum situational awareness:

  1. "My Success Path"  You probably won't use this feature much, so you can minimize it for now.  
  2. "My Success Network"  This helps you find your Academic Adviser from MIDS, your Company Officer, your Coach, etc, and connect with them.  Two features to remember:
    1. Hover your mouse over a name, and you can see that person's phone number, email address, biography, etc, and schedule an appointment with them.
    2. Search Services is a useful feature, too.  For example, try searching for "skills" and you can see programs we have to improve learning skills, aviation skills, or writing skills.  You could also search for a specific tutor's name.
  3. "Appointments"  Use this field to see your upcoming or previously held appointments.  
  4. "Courses I'm Taking"  This section (which is normally on the right half of the screen) shows all of your current courses, as well as the support services that relate to them.

About the "Services" tab

This section lists support services at USNA that can help you with your academics.  There are several pages of services, from our Advanced Learning Skills program to Yoga Studies.  Services are arranged alphabetically, and you can go to the next page of services using the buttons at the bottom of the window.  If you want to get connected with a specific service, click on the title bar or name of that service.  Then, you can read about that service, or:

  • You can see the contact information for the program manager if you have questions.
  • You can see the service members who provide that specific services. 
  • You can click on the service's website for more information on upcoming events, schedules, etc.
  • You can click on "Schedule Appointment", to see the service calendar of available dates.

How do I schedule appointments?

When you click on "Schedule Appointment" from anywhere in Starfish★, you'll see a service calendar on the left of the screen.  This calendar is either for the service as a whole, or for the particular person you clicked on.  You should use the calendar at left to find the bold dates, which show when that service/person is available to schedule a meeting.  Now, some services may be walk-in only, or by arrangement, etc.  So you may not see these in Starfish★ because they are not appointments.  Your service provider will still log them in Starfish★ after the fact, to ensure you get credit for attendance.  

Be sure to read the information about the person or service you are trying to reach.

Remember, the purpose of these programs is student support, with the ultimate goal of accomplishing the United States Naval Academy's mission, by helping you graduate as a leader!  So help us accomplish the mission and get connected to the quality services you want and need.  If you have questions, just ask!

Why should I use Starfish★?

  1. Starfish★ credentials are the same as your USNA information.  You already have an account, simply log in.
  2. Starfish★ helps you connect quickly to support your students.  It is easy to:
    • Message your students.
    • Set up and easily modify your office hours, so students can always view your availability and make Extra Instruction (E.I.) appointments with you at a convenient time.  No more lengthy back and forth email conversations.
    • Set up review sessions for your section, and track who attends.
    • Check up on a particular student's performance outside of class, and contact a Company Officer, Senior Enlisted Leader, Academic Adviser, or Coach if necessary.
    • Refer students to seek help at the Academic Center for support programs, like help with time management, or reading strategies.
  3. Starfish★ interfaces with your USNA Gmail and Google Calendar.  If you schedule an appointment, you can get a reminder email or SMS automatically sent to you depending on your notification preferences.  Your student(s) will get reminders, too.
  4. Starfish★ keeps a detailed record of meetings with your students outside of class.  You can keep track of every meeting you have had in the realm of academic support.  (This could be helpful for putting together a tenure package, documenting student improvement over time, logging which E.I. topic areas require the most time, implementing departmental assessment plans, etc.)

How do I use Starfish★?

How do I log in?

Open a new window in your browser, and log in to Starfish★ using your USNA credentials.  The link to log in is found on the USNA intranet home page under "Applications".

How do I edit my profile?

Click on your name in the top right corner.  You can change a variety of preferences from here.

How do I set up my office hours?

Click on the "Appointments" page in the top blue bar.  Then click on the button that says "Office Hours".

How do I message my student(s)?

Click on the "Students" page in the top blue bar.  Find their name(s), and check the box next to their name(s).  Then click the "Message" button.

How do I message a student's coach, Company Officer, etc.?

Search for the student's name.  Click on the student's name.  Click on the "Network" tab.  This lists everyone affiliated with that student.  Check the box(es) of whom you'd like to message.  Click the "Message" button.

How do I make an appointment with a student?

Click on the "Appointments" page in the top blue bar.  Click on the button that says "+Appointment".

How do I make an appointment with multiple students for a group session?

Click on the "Appointments" page in the top blue bar.  Click on the button that says "+Group Session".

How do I learn more?


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