October 2020 – Student Academic Hub Newsletter

Photograph of the Main House with fall foliage.

Hello faculty and staff – happy midpoint of the semester!

The Student Academic Hub is working diligently to provide support for our students, and we appreciate your collaborative efforts in this endeavor. Thank you for raising tracking items in Starfish that alert us to how students are doing, touching base with us to inquire about how to navigate issues and situations, and explaining to students who we are, what we offer, and how they can reach us. Congrats to our community – our early alert survey completion rate was 82%, up from 72% in fall 2019!

I have some updates for you about the Hub – it is important to me that you are aware of what is happening in our unit, so that you’re able to provide students and others with accurate information from which they can make informed choices about how best to utilize our services.


Kaylynn Peralta, our academic coach, no longer works at Marymount, and we were sad to see her go. In the meanwhile, Emily Carns is a magnificent GA who is helping us sustain our academic coaching program – her availability is T/W/Th from 4:30-7:30pm. I also have academic coaching hours available on M (2:00-4:00pm) and F (11:30am-1:30pm). Both Emily and I show up in all students’ Starfish Success Networks (which is the homepage for students when they open up Starfish).

Andrea Miller, our Advising Director, no longer works at Marymount. She moved back to Florida, where I imagine she’s sitting on a beach and enjoying her favorite kind of weather! We miss her. For any advising-related issues/questions, please direct those to me. Andrea and Kaylynn were advising exploratory students, non-degree students, and psychology students. To help us sustain our advising, we have 2 glorious GAs, Stephanie Semaan and Kellen Cannon, who are meeting with these students and helping them navigate Marymount successfully. Both of them are linked to their advisees and show up in their students’ Starfish Success Networks.

John Gilbert, our fearless Writing Specialist and English as an Additional Language (EAL) expert, is on leave for the fall semester. We are hoping that he is back with us in the spring full time – he’s excited to unveil his Marymount Online Writing Lab (OWL) and offer his Grammar 911 initiative to students needing some foundational assistance with writing.

Student Academic Hub OfficeStudent Academic Hub location

WE MOVED! You can find our main front desk (and Dori’s welcoming demeanor) in Rowley 1005.


Thank you for your partnership as we work together to guide students in their academic journeys. The rest of our newsletter includes quick things to note at the semester’s midpoint.

Best regards,

Michelle Steiner

P.S. There’s a Zoom Bingo card at the end of the newsletter. You’re welcome.


Student Access Services: A Letter to Faculty

Dear Faculty,

We hope that you and your students have settled into a good routine this semester! We appreciate your commitment to working with all of your students, and including us in conversations you have about implementing SAS-approved accommodations.

A key part of the accommodations process requires that students discuss their SAS-approved accommodations with you to ensure that listed accommodations don’t fundamentally alter your course(s). This dialogue is important because not every accommodation listed on a student’s Faculty Contact Sheet (FCS) is reasonable or appropriate for every class.

The SAS team enjoys partnering with you to determine what makes sense in each individual course you teach. Accommodations listed on an FCS exist because our office has identified specific actions necessary to mitigate the impact of a disability while not providing the student a means for academic success at the competitive expense of their peers.

You are always empowered to work with individual students struggling in class to help promote learning and academic success. It is important to clarify that any added academic adjustments that you offer to students that are not listed on the FCS should not be tied (offered as a result of) the student’s disability. These additional adjustments should be available for any deserving student struggling in class.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns,

Sven Jones & Maureen Dour


Peer Tutoring

Check out this list of all courses for which we can tutor course content. Writing consultations are available for all courses at Marymount. Refer students to tutoring by raising a referral in Starfish, or by telling them to use Tutortrac (which is found under “Sign On Links” on the MU portal) to set up an appointment.


Academic Coaching Connection Blog

Academic Coaching

We have a success blog that needs more posts! If you have students who you have identified as having good success strategies (for time management, studying, organization, prioritization, focus, motivation, etc.), please send Michelle Steiner their names. Michelle will reach out and work with them to post an article on our blog.


Academic Advising

Advisors are diligently reaching out to students who have multiple flags. For more information about all of our flags, including who can raise each flag, reasons to raise each flag, and what action is taken when the each flag is raised, please refer to our Keep Teaching! webpage under “Starfish Information.”


Starfish Notes from Michelle Steiner

Starfish logoMany of you are active users of our Starfish system, and I appreciate your efforts in documenting what’s going on with students. The more information we put into Starfish, the more robust the tool becomes. Here are some thoughts for you as you continue to use Starfish:

  • Clearing flags: If you raise a flag on a student, and then you see improvement, please consider clearing the flag. This will help us show impact as we review our Starfish data at the end of the semester. Don’t know how to clear a flag? Click the following link to download a PDF guide! Clearing a Flag PDF Guide
  • Attendance tracking: We are already halfway into the semester, but I would urge everyone to consider using Starfish to track attendance, now and in the future. By doing so, if a student has 3 unexcused absences, a flag is automatically raised in Starfish to alert the Hub. Poor attendance leads to poor performance (as you well know), so having that information helps us conduct outreach quickly and intentionally.
  • Success Networks: Talk to students about “activating their Success Network” – a student’s Starfish homepage is their Success Network; this page provides a list of staff and faculty that are available to them (and with whom they can make appointments, IF those staff/faculty created appointment times within Starfish). It’s one thing to have a Success Network and another to activate it! That was my message to our incoming freshmen class… help me spread that message to all of our students.


Zoom. Bingo.

Zoom Bingo

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