Polaris is Bowdoin's official student information system. Instructors log in to Polaris using their Bowdoin username and password. Polaris is internet based and can be accessed anywhere in the world.
The instructor's "Faculty" page is the default screen that appears after logging in to Polaris. From this page faculty can provide instructor overrides, view their teaching schedules and class rosters, submit comment cards, and communicate with students both as a class and individually.
Instructor teaching schedules are located under “My Classes”. Note that Thursday is denoted as “R." The “Reserved” columns shows if any spaces in a fall class are reserved for first year students.
Email Class: allows the instructor to communicate with all students on the class roster simultaneously. If the instructor needs to email an individual student and/or their advisor(s), click on their name(s).
Download Class List: click this button to download a spreadsheet of the class roster.
Print Class List: click this button to generate a printable version of the class roster.
To send a Comment Card to a student, click on the yellow notecard icon next to the student’s name. Type the comment/feedback in the body of the email, above the explanatory text. Please do not change to whom the email/comment card is addressed. If the icon does not respond, please contact the Help Desk at x3030 to set up Outlook, Thunderbird or Apple Mail to work with Comment Cards.
Here is an example of an email an instructor would see after clicking on the Comment Card icon.
On the top left of the portal are a list of links to relevant Bowdoin websites for your convenience.
To look up individual students, instructors navigate to the top left of the screen and then click on the icon in the top left of Polaris (3 horizontal stripes). Select “Student Lookup” from the drop-down list of options. The next screen is a student data privacy reminder. Please read and click accept.
In the searchbox, enter the student's first name OR last name OR Bowdoin ID. After a few seconds, Polaris will display all students that match the search criteria. From the results list, click on the student's name to view their details.
Alternately, you can select from the pull-down menu to the right of “Search” to see a list of your advisees, majors, or minors. From that list you can click on a student’s name to view their information. If you need to look up a student who has already graduated or resigned from the college, choose “All Students” from the bottom of the menu.
Once you’ve selected a particular student, a new page for that student will display. The top left section shows the “Personal Profile” of the student. The “Contact Info” tab includes SU Box, campus address and cell phone.
Directly below the “Personal Profile” section is the student’s “Academic Profile” where a variety of academic information is displayed. “Degree Requirements” shows which catalog year the student matriculated, and thus, which requirements they must meet. Additionally, you can view a student’s placement recommendations under the “Placements” tab; SAT, AP, Bowdoin required tests, e.g. QR, and other scores in the “Test Scores” tab; and a variety of Holds that might have been placed on the student to stop them from registering or acquiring an official transcript before they have completed a required task. For a student’s full academic record, click on the “Degree Progress” link at the bottom of the section and you will be redirected to Degree Progress to view their unofficial audit.
A summary of a student’s current courses can be found in the top right section of the student page, under “Courses”, as well as information about whether they have elected credit/D/F or are taking the course for a standard letter grade. The division and distribution requirements that the course meets are noted on the column on the far right. Note that Thursday is denoted as “R."
View the student’s Academic Contacts section for current instructor contact information, advisors, and student deans.
Only when needed, advisors can view a student's grades from the most recent semester in the "Grades" section. Next to the right column heading "Grade" a link will enable toggling between showing or hiding grades.
The Status portlet will display advisee's status by semester. Click on "Show All" on the upper right to display an advisee’s status. If an advisee is studying abroad, this section will show the program where they are.
Faculty submit official grades via Polaris. To do so, navigate to the top left of the screen and then click on the icon in the top left of Polaris (3 horizontal stripes). Select “Enter Grades” from the drop-down list of options.
Select the course from the drop-down list. Select the grade for each student in their individual grade drop-down list. Click "Submit" to save. Faculty may adjust grades until the grade submission deadlines. After the deadline, the grades become part of the student's official record. Note: no grades after the deadline unless it was an entry error.