Advising | MCC



Starfish is a retention software solution in use across KCTCS. Madisonville uses Starfish to keep academic advising assignments, allow students to schedule appointments with advisors and instructors, and to raise concerns about student academic progress. Beginning Fall 2014, Starfish has replaced AdvisorTrac and EARS.


Access Starfish through either Blackboard or PeopleSoft Student Administration:

Raising Flags and Making Referrals

At any time, instructors and advisors may raise flags to identify students who are encountering problems that are endangering their academic success and refer students to college support professionals. *Important* The message contained in a flag or referral is delivered to the student and copied to the student s academic advisor and college support staff. When raising a flag or making a referral, be sure to

  • Provide comments explaining the problems the students is having.
  • Word your response so that both your student and the student s advisor can understand the cause of the problem.
  • Raise only one flag per student. It is not necessary to flag a student for a missing assignment and then add a second flag for attendance problems. Raise a single flag and address both concerns.
  • Lower the flags if the problem has been resolved.

Responding to Flags

During academic advising sessions, advisors should check Starfish to see if students have any active flags; active flags provides the advisor and student an opportunity to troubleshoot strategies for addressing the problem. Advisors may also choose to have their advisee flags routed to their KCTCS email.

Appointment Scheduling

Starfish allows students to schedule appointments with their academic advisors and their instructors. Appointments may be scheduled for multiple locations and may be restricted to specific student roles, e.g. advising appointments may be kept separate from instructional appointments.

Attendance Tracker

Starfish can also be used to track student attendance.

Starfish Data

Starfish is also a repository of much student data including flags and referrals as well as student grades. All this data is protected by FERPA and should not be shared; furthermore, students grades are pulled from limited fields in the Blackboard Grade Center and may not accurately reflect student performance.