Gateway to Persistence and Success

Instructional Faculty


Why Use GPS?

SMC faculty discuss why should you use GPS?

SMC Gateway to Persistence and Success (GPS) is SMC's new Early Alert system to support student success and retention in the classroom. Please note that we have re-branded Starfish to be called SMC GPS.

Please note: The maintenance windows for GPS System are on the third Tuesday of every month from Tuesday at 11:59pm - Wednesday at 3:59am ET.

SMC GPS Faculty Promo

Instructors can use this retention tool with these key support and retention actions:

  • Kudos provide a student with positive reinforcement and encouragement a student. Kudos stay active on a student's profile for the remainder of the academic year. Faculty raised item. Stays on the students account the whole term. 

  • Flags are both raised and closed by the instructor. These tracking items facilitate conversation between the student and the instructor. This lets students know instructors would like to see them. Faculty raised item. Stays on the students account until the faculty member clears it or term ends. 

  • Referrals Flags alert a service area when a student needs more support. These items are raised by the instructor and closed by either the service area or the instructor. It is up to the student to reach out to tutoring services.

For more information, view the Instructional Faculty Handbook.

How to Access SMC GPS

Faculty will use our SMC username and password to login to GPS. You can find the login several ways, On the website under Login or on the Faculty/Staff page under Logins, or below.  

Login to SMC GPS

GPS Faculty Training part 1: Log In, Create Profile, Landing page and Email Notifications

Set Up Profile

  1. To update your information, click on the down arrow next to your name. This will open your profile.
  2. Customizations:
    1. Add a photo or items that best represents you as an Instructor. 
    2. Add contact information.
    3. Set calendar availabilities.
    4. Set and request personal email address notifications.
    5. Access text alerts.
    6. Set email reminder preferences.

For more information, view Faculty and Staff Demo Series - Updating Your Profile.

Set Up Office Hours

  1. The first time you use GPS, you can set up office hours.
  2. You can modify your office hours at any time through the Appointments top-level navigation in Starfish.

Note: Faculty have the ability to schedule their office hours with students using the GPS appointment scheduling system. Your office hours will show in the students network.

For more information, view Faculty and Staff Demo Series - Updating your Office Hours Share Details.

Raise Flags and Referrals

  • Flags initiate conversations with students.
  • Referrals typically require third-party intervention and help connect students with support, such as speaking with Academic Counselor, Career Counselor, or obtaining a Chromebook loan. However, Tutoring Referrals are informational in nature and do not require third-party information. Instead, a student will receive an automated email with more information about how to schedule a tutoring appointment.
GPS Flags and Referrals Brief Tutorial

Respond to Progress Surveys

  • Progress Surveys enable instructors and teaching assistants to provide feedback for students at once at key points in the term.
  • Each survey is a collection of tracking items (Flags, Kudos, and Referrals) that instructors can select and comment on for students in each of their course sections.
  • Instructors are notified by email when surveys require their input, and links to available surveys are presented to the instructors when they login to Starfish.

For more information, view Respond to Progress Surveys.

Clearing Flags 

A flag was raised, what do we do now? Once the issue is resolved, you will need to "Close the Loop" to ensure that everyone involved knows that the issue has been taken care of.

SMC GPS makes it easy for the user to document a solution, clear the flag, and communicate the resolution with one easy step using the close the loop feature. Clearing a flag may happen when the student discusses the matter with flag raiser.

Close the Loop

Instructor Managed Flags are both raised and closed by the instructor in a given course. These tracking items are designed to facilitate conversation between the student and the instructor. Students will be notified to go speak with their instructor. Once the student speaks with you, you should close the loop.

Referrals are designed to alert a service area when a student needs additional support. These items are raised by the instructor and closed by a service area like Counseling. Students will be notified that they need to speak with Counseling or Tutoring.

For more information, view the video below.

SMC GPS: Faculty Guide to Raising and Resolving an Item

Student Homework Assignment

Getting Started with SMC GPS

Due Date:

As you know, in [CLASS], we will use an exciting new software tool called SMC GPS, or SMC Gateway to Persistence and Success. The purpose of SMC GPS is to connect you with your professors, like me, and with counselors and support staff so that we can be your just-in-time support network. Your success in class matters to me and my colleagues at SMC, so let's start building your network! Think of this assignment as the first step in that process.

Assignment Objective: To help you get to know SMC GPS

Here are the steps to completing this assignment:

  1. Log in to SMC GPS using your regular SMC username and password (this is not your SMC ID #)
  2. Update your SMC GPS profile
    1. Click on the three-bar menu in the upper left corner:
    2. Click on the down arrow next to your name
    3. Click on "Profile" to edit your profile
    4. You can upload a photo, add biographical information, modify or add contact information, and change email notifications
  3. Finally, find "Raise Your Hand" so that I can see you have updated your profile
    1. In the three-bar menu, select "Raise Your Hand"
    2. Scroll down to select the "I logged into GPS!!!" flag.

Once you have raised your hand in SMC GPS, you are done!

By completing this assignment, you will earn [5 points].