Technology and Services

Software System Administration and Support

The OSS Technology Solutions Team manages (either directly or in partnership with the Registrar's Office) the system administration of several software applications:


Early Alert Reporting

Under the guidance of the OSS Executive Director and the UM Academic Advising Council, the OSS Tech Team manages the campus-wide Early Alert Program which is designed to identify students who might be having academic difficulty and direct them to assistance.

Starfish Early Alert (part of the Hobsons Starfish Retention Solutions suite) is the current software used to run the program. A series of Progress Surveys within the software are available to faculty during the Fall and Spring semesters. Instructors are able to select from several alert types (e.g. attendance, missing/late assignments, in danger of failing) and also able to send kudos to students who are progressing and performing well in the course.

Using the software’s workflow features and communication templates, alerts and kudos are shared with the students’ advisors who are encouraged to either contact the students or address the alert at the next advising appointment.

Data from the progress surveys is subsequently used by the OSS Tech Team to assess and report on the program’s effectiveness toward improving retention, persistence, progression toward degree.

Training and Consulting

Upon request, the OSS Technology Solutions Team is available to partner with academic departments, other academic advising & student service units and various technology teams to help define and implement enhanced student services processes, data reporting, departmental training and software solutions.

Consultations for academic departments can include:

  • Review of current advising practices, issues and challenges
  • Evaluation of a department’s readiness to adopt new advising technologies
  • Custom configuration for advising and reporting features available in the various Advising Technologies
  • Custom training programs for department faculty and staff


The OSS Technology Solutions Team works collaboratively with the operational and technology staff in several other campus units to help manage and support various student service technologies and the associated data. The primary focus during partnership work is to serve as advocates for the campus advising community and for student success.

Key partnerships exist with the following offices: