Ellard, Palmore Trains Leiden Community on Student Success Portal

Dec. 5, 2019

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Erica Ellard, director of the Academic Resource Center, and Erik Palmore, director of the Faculty Development Center, spent a week in November at the Leiden campus holding training sessions for faculty, staff, and students on the Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, and other University resources to support student success.

Approximately 65 faculty members attended training sessions to learn about the Student Success Portal, powered by Starfish, and how it will be used at the Leiden campus. Faculty were shown how to raise flags for attendance, and academic issues were introduced to progress surveys and notes and discussed scenarios regarding when the tool will be useful to them and their students.

In addition to Starfish, faculty were introduced to NetTutor and LinkedIn Learning. Faculty were shown demonstrations regarding how these resources can be useful to students during terms or semesters as well as outside of class sessions. Faculty were also provided further instruction on Turnitin and how it can be used to support student success.

All of these resources, Starfish, NetTutor, LinkedIn Learning, and Turnitin, help faculty provide more support and free resources for students while taking less time from class sessions for review or remediation and taking less administrative time. Starfish also enhances communications to students and closes the communication loop with staff at the campus.

“It was encouraging to see student and faculty engagement during the multiple training sessions that were organized. Moreover, the staff at the Leiden campus are enthusiastic about implementing the Student Success Portal starting Jan. 1, 2020,” said Sheetal Shah, acting academic director at the Leiden campus. “We sincerely hope that easy access to additional tools like NetTutor and LinkedIn Learning is going to help empower students to succeed in their college education.”

Erica Ellard and Erik Palmore spent a week in November at the Leiden campus holding training sessions for faculty, staff, and students on the Student Success Portal. 

Leiden students were notably excited about the resources and what they can add to students’ learning experiences and ongoing growth and development. Several members of Leiden’s Student Government Association (SGA) plan to present the PowerPoint presentation shared with them to the full SGA and to help walk other students through the steps to access these resources and set up their Starfish profiles. Students in Shah’s Learning Strategies class were also introduced to these resources in a hands-on session.


Leiden staff engaged in sessions with Ellard and Palmore, too, diving deeper into Starfish, in particular, and these other resources. The Leiden campus plans to begin using Starfish immediately with the expectation that it will replace their current at-risk process starting January 2020 to improve communication, outreach, and workflow efficiencies. The campus will also participate in the Early Term and Midterm progress surveys that have been implemented throughout the United States and online.

The Leiden campus has been working with Ellard and Kyle McCool, senior director of Academic Advising, on Starfish implementation for some time, and the culmination of that work aligns with significant growth in student enrollment through the University’s partnership with Global University Systems (GUS). This partnership has expanded the diversity of the Leiden student profile and brought new opportunities and challenges to the campus. This visit provides a timely set of tools as well as consultation to continue building programming and resources for the campus’s new learning profile and growth.

Ellard and Palmore were joined by Engy Kassem, coordinator, International Campuses. Kassem assists with initiatives of the units that report to the Office of Academic Affairs. She was able to learn more about the Student Success Portal, how it is implemented at a campus, and what training and support ensure successful implementation as well as about the other resources shared in Leiden. Kassem will help coordinate ongoing communication about student success initiatives and other global efforts of the Office of Academic Affairs.

tags:  extended campus, global, webster today, leiden, faculty, community engagement, academic resource center, faculty development center,