Academic Advising

Academic Advising focuses on the development of students. The purpose is to assist students in achieving their academic, career, and personal goals while at the College.

Students are encouraged to consult with their assigned Academic Advisor about any academic or personal problems. Their advisor can help them explore their aspirations and interests. Services include academic planning and goal-setting, career exploration and guidance, referrals to on-campus and community resources, and support with academic and/or personal concerns.

Academic Advisors are located within the Student Services Department at the Central Campus and at other locations. 

Students can schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor in Starfish or by calling (608) 757-7668 or emailing

Advising, Registration, and Onboarding (ARO) Process

New program students are required to complete the Advising, Registration, and Onboarding (ARO) process prior to registering in courses. During the ARO process, students will receive an introduction to Blackboard, Blackhawk's learning management system. Students will also learn more about policies and procedures at Blackhawk Technical College, receive assistance with technology, meet with advising and financial aid staff, and register for courses.

In the first semester after completing the ARO process, students will be required to meet with their assigned Academic Advisor to review and update their Master Academic Plan (MAP). Students are encouraged to work closely with their assigned Academic Advisor to create a plan that will help them reach their goals.

University Transfer Programs and Articulation Agreements

Based upon a student's educational or career goals, they may enroll in one of the University Transfer programs or work toward obtaining a bachelor's degree using one of the established articulation agreements. Students should connect with an advisor at their receiving institution and participate in parallel advising to ensure the courses they take within an associate degree are beneficial within their chosen bachelor's degree. The student is responsible for establishing and maintaining that relationship with their receiving institution.

Pathway Checkpoint

Pathway Checkpoint sessions occur during the registration period each semester. These sessions are optional but provide students with an opportunity to meet with an advisor, check their progress toward their degree, and register for courses. Students are encouraged to review their Master Academic Plan in Degree Planner in Starfish through MyBTC. The Starfish tool can assist students in communicating with faculty and staff and making appointments with individuals and/or support services. Students can see their Success Network in Starfish and easily connect with faculty, advisors and other support staff and locate their contact information (i.e., phone number and email address).


Starfish is part of student support services and is accessed through MyBTC. The Starfish tool can assist students in making appointments with individuals and/or offices around campus. Students can also use the Starfish kiosks to keep track of their attendance in labs and time in appointments.  Students can see their Success Network in Starfish and easily connect with faculty, advisors and other support staff and locate their contact information (i.e., phone number and email address).

Progress Surveys, Flags, and Kudos

Students who need academic support should seek help immediately. Select faculty will complete an Early Alert Progress Survey through Starfish. Faculty identify attendance and/or other academic concerns early in the semester. The student’s assigned academic advisor will be notified of the concern via a flag within Starfish. The advisor conducts outreach to students and shares resources to help keep the student on track (i.e. counseling, tutoring, academic planning, emergency financial assistance, time management, etc.).

During the semester, if the faculty members have concerns about students, the faculty members can raise flags in Starfish that will notify the student and the assigned academic advisor of the area of concern. Flags have varying levels of urgency, and some require outreach from the advisor to the student to support the student's success by sharing resources, making referrals, and building a success plan. Faculty are encouraged to speak with the student first regarding the concern(s) and inform the student that the advisor will be contacting him/her.

Flags raised in Starfish throughout the semester will be cleared after the advisor has contacted the student. The advisor will identify how they closed the loop (i.e., student reached out to advisor, call made to student-no response, etc.). All interactions will be tracked in Starfish.

Faculty also raise Kudos through Starfish to encourage students and acknowledge the academic progress students demonstrate throughout the semester. Students are notified of these Kudos; no follow-up is needed. The use of Kudos is highly encouraged.

Midterm Feedback

Midterm feedback is issued in an effort to provide students with feedback about academic progress, as well as to provide students with services to support them in their success. At the semester midpoint of 16-week courses, faculty are encouraged to provide feedback to students through a Progress Survey in Starfish. Feedback issued may include a flag (concern), kudo (accolade), and/or comments from the Faculty. Flags raised during a midterm progress survey may result in an outreach to the student from a Blackhawk staff or faculty. The Midterm Progress survey is an optional opportunity for faculty to provide feedback to the students and Academic Advisor.