Starfish Early Alert for Students

The Starfish Early Alert™ system is a retention tool that supports your student academic success.

Starfish simplifies communication between students, faculty and support services. Through Starfish, you can connect with the network of faculty and staff who directly support your success at Truckee Meadows Community College. You can receive timely feedback and messages and request help with any challenges you might have in achieving academic success.

Notifications are sent to your TMCC email (please check and read your email often) or may be viewed on your Starfish Profile Dashboard.

Starfish is integrated into all Canvas courses. Look for the link to Starfish in the course section menu within a Canvas course.

Once you log in to Starfish, it is strongly recommended that you update your Starfish profile with a picture, brief biography and review your email address and phone number to ensure accuracy.

Your Right to Know

  • The only members who will be able to view a raised flag will be the instructor who raised the flag, advisors and members of the College who are associated with the flag, and yourself.
  • Starfish flags are raised in support of you, not against you. If you receive a flag, you are not "in trouble". You are encouraged to respond and take action on your instructor's concerns.
  • Starfish data is protected under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
  • Special program specialists can see all flags and information in Starfish.
  • Tracking Items (Flags, Kudos, and Referrals) are part of your student record.

What Do Early Alerts Mean?

Starfish Early Alert allows an instructor to notify you when there is a concern regarding your course grades or academic performance.

  • These Early Alert notifications called "Flags" identify concerns regarding frequent absences, missed assignments, low scores or possible failure in a class.
  • Starfish also allows instructors to give praise or "Kudos" to celebrate your success or improvement in a class.
  • "Referrals" are used to direct you to contact a particular office on campus.

Student Resources

All students need help in college, but sometimes it is difficult to know who or what to ask. You should talk to an instructor about the problem as soon as possible to get recommendations for how to improve in the course.

Additionally, seek help through the many academic support services available to all students. TMCC provides a number of services and resources free of charge to students, including:

Starfish makes it even easier than ever to ask for assistance.

Starfish Early Alert allows you to request assistance by raising a flag on yourself. Flags may be raised at any point during an academic term.

Two flags are available:

  • I Need Help in a Course: This flag will trigger an email notification directly to the instructor in a specific course identifying the type of help being sought. You will also receive a confirmation email recommending speaking with an instructor during office hours.
  • I Need Help: This flag will trigger an email notification to your professor in class (if you say you need help in class) or a resource on campus. A designated staff member will contact you within two business days to determine the type of assistance needed and make referrals to appropriate offices.

Starfish Early Alert Help

For general inquiries and training questions, please contact the Starfish administrator by email at starfishassistance@tmcc.edu or call 775-673-7286.

For technical issues, please contact IT Customer Service.

Hours of Operation
Monday–Wednesday 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tuesday–Thursday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday by appointment