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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 can 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★.

New user guide

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★?

Log in and profile customization

  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.  If it isn't your first time logging in, you can customize your profile by clicking on your name in the top right.  
    1. Add your preferred email and set up your "Reminder Preferences" to ensure you are notified about appointments as you wish in a timely manner.  
    2. You may also consider uploading a dashing photo of yourself to make it easier for people to recognize you.
  3. After setup, you can either click on the "Home" tab, or the "Services" tab.  Or you can go back and 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 "Home" and "Services" 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 five fields to help you connect with academic support services, like EI or tutoring.

  1. "Dashboard"  Use this field to see your upcoming appointments.
  2. "My Success Network"  This shows you your Academic Adviser, your Company Officer, your Coach, etc, and a few CAE services.  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. The search bar is a useful feature, too.  For example, try searching for "skills" and you can see programs we have to improve learning skills, aviation test battery skills, or writing skills.  You could also search for a specific tutor's name.
  3. "Courses"  This section shows all of your current courses, as well as the support services that relate to them.  If your Instructor has Office Hours in Starfish, you can click to schedule an appointment with them.
  4. "Plans"  You probably won't use this feature very much.  
  5. "History" Recent calendar items, courses, notifications.

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 blue title bar with the 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 academic specific service. 
  • 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 (which are bold on the calendar).

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 appointment-based.  Your tutor or academic service provider will still log them in Starfish★ after the fact, to ensure you get recorded 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★helps you connect quickly to support your students.  It is easy to:
    1. Message your students.
    2. 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.
    3. Set up review sessions for your section, and track who attends.
    4. 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.
    5. Refer students to seek help at the Academic Center for support programs, like help with time management, or reading strategies.
  2. Starfish★ credentials are the same as your USNA information.  You already have an account, simply log in.
  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".  The link is also found on the Academic Center's website.

How do I edit my profile?

Click on your name in the top right corner.  This page will give you three sections where you can change a variety of preferences.

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".

What is "Reserve Time"?

"Reserve Time" is a useful feature that lets you block off time from your normally scheduled Office Hours on your calendar.  If you have a meeting or are taking leave of absence, "Reserve Time" will prevent students from trying to schedule an appointment with you.

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.  You can see specific students using the "Connection" drop down.

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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