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Academic Center (Center for Academic Excellence)
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Starfish★ Help

Whether you're a student or faculty/staff, click on one of the tabs below to learn more about Starfish★. If you still have questions, feel free to contact the Academic Center (x2933 or x2952)! 

What is Starfish★?

Starfish★ is web-based software that helps students achieve academic success by connecting them to the various mechanisms of academic support across the Yard. 

Who can access Starfish★?

Any faculty & staff member with a direct role in Midshipmen development has access to Starfish★.  It is available both on and off the Yard (via intranet or public pages), utilizing a single sign-on (SSO) feature that shares username/password with your USNA Gmail account.

Trouble accessing Starfish★ off the Yard?

Follow these steps to enable cookies in the Google Chrome browser.


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).  
  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.

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 the three horizontal bars in the top left. Click the down arrow then select profile.  
    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 consider uploading a 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. 

About the "Home" tab

The  three bars in  the top left of the window support navigation to  six fields to help you connect with academic support services, like EI or tutoring.

  1. "Dashboard"   Use this field to see your upcoming appointments in a calendar format.
  2. " Upcoming" Use this field to see your upcoming appointments in a textual format.
  3. "My Success Network"   This shows you your Academic Adviser, your Company Officer, your Coach, etc, and links the major CAE services.
    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, support writing assignments, etc.  You could also search for a specific tutor's name.
  4. "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.
  5. "Plans"   You and your adviser can utilize this feature to track required EI/support service attendance.
  6. " History" Recent calendar items, courses, notifications. Useful to capture a printout of your support service or EI attendance. 

About the "Services" tab

This section lists support services at USNA that can help you with your academics. If you want to get connected with a specific service, click on the blue title bar with the name of that service.  From the next window, you can:

  • View contact information for the program manager if you have questions.
  • Learn more about service members who provide that academic specific service. 
  • Peruse the service's website for more information on upcoming events, schedules, etc.
  • Click on "Schedule Appointment" to select from 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 view your availability and make Extra Instruction (EI) appointments with you at a convenient time.  
    3. Arrange review sessions for your section(s) and track who attends.
    4. Review 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 EI topic areas require the most time, implementing departmental assessment plans, etc.

How do I use Starfish★?

How do I log in?

Visit the main Starfish★ page and log in using your USNA credentials.  Like your Gmail account, it utilizes a SSO (single sign-on) feature.

How do I edit my profile?

Click on the three horizontal bars in the top left, then click the down area under your name. Select "Institutional Profile."

How do I set up my office hours?

Click on the three horizontal bars in the top left, then click "Appointments." Within the calendar UI, the top-left box says Office Hours - when you click it, you'll be able to establish times, days, etc.

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, "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, which lists everyone affiliated with that student.  Check the box(es) for the people you would like to message, then select "email selected."

How do I make an appointment with a student?

Click on the three horizontal bars in the top left, then click "Appointments." Within the calendar UI, click the box that says +Appointment.

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

Click on the three horizontal bars in the top left, then click "Appointments." Within the calendar UI, click the box that says +Group Session.

How do I learn more?
Contact us at the academic center (x2933 or x2952); we will be glad to help!


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