Starfish Retention Solutions and eTutoring.org Partner to Connect Students to Their Success

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Institutions to Identify At-Risk Students and Link Them to Tutoring in Real Time

Through our partnership with eTutoring.org, we are able to extend our value to our client partners by offering a cost-effective and scalable way of providing valuable academic support to their students.

BbWorld '09, Booth 407 - Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of student success systems, and eTutoring.org, an online tutoring platform provider with more than 60 member institutions, today announced a partnership to offer academic institutions an unparalleled opportunity to identify students who need additional help and then to provide that extra help in a timely manner. The partnership is intended to help institutions improve retention and success rates during the first year of college when students need the most help.    

Through simple integrations with an institution's course management system (e.g., Blackboard, ANGEL, WebCT), the joint solution will leverage Starfish EARLY ALERTâ„¢ to identify underperforming students, based on measurements of their daily academic activity such as low grades, poor attendance or missed assignments. The system will then deliver automatic email notifications to those students, alerting them to the institution's concerns. The email will include a direct link to academic support services provided by eTutoring.org, such as online tutoring and writing support.

The partnership between Starfish and eTutoring.org is a result of the prevailing industry research indicating that student success is largely predicated on two important factors: early identification of a student at risk and utilization of tutoring, especially for math and writing. The joint solution enables institutions to leverage technology to efficiently monitor and support student success.

Accessible with a single log-in to an institution's course management system, Starfish EARLY ALERT is an early warning and student tracking system that makes it possible for instructors, advisors and academic staff to identify at-risk students in real time. The system generates valuable performance data for the institution, including resource utilization that helps optimize future student service offerings.

"Starfish Retention Solutions knows the impact that tutoring has on a student's ability to overcome academic challenges. We have admired the approach that eTutoring.org has taken to enable schools to join a consortium where tutoring resources are shared among all its members," said David Yaskin, founder and CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc. "Through our partnership with eTutoring.org, we are able to extend our value to our client partners by offering a cost-effective and scalable way of providing valuable academic support to their students."

As a service of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), eTutoring.org offers an online tutoring consortium that gives students the academic help they need, when they need it. Students can conveniently access a tutor online, submit questions for a tutor to respond to later or get help with a writing assignment. The tutors are staffed by member institutions within the consortium - reducing the burden for institutions. The centrally hosted platform alleviates additional IT expense while ensuring data security. Institutions can join an existing collaborative - or create their own collaborative for a system or group of institutions.

"eTutoring.org is proud to be partnering with Starfish to provide this joint solution to the academic community," said Kevin Corcoran, associate executive director of the CTDLC. "Starfish is empowering institutions to know what is happening with their students on a day-to-day basis. The biggest challenge to any early intervention system is faculty adoption and timely information. Starfish has cracked the code by placing its system at the fingertips of faculty, right in the course management system where daily student activity is recorded. Without having to wait for midterm or end-of-term reports, individual faculty members and advisors can know which students need their attention. And now through eTutoring.org, they can give their students the additional layer of academic support they need."

About Starfish Retention Solutions:
Starfish Retention Solutions is a leading provider of student success systems. The company offers a collection of software solutions that harness the power of the campus community in order to engage, motivate and graduate more students - securing valuable tuition revenue through student retention. Specifically, the solutions help institutions identify at-risk students in real time, based on their daily course work performance, and then connect them to the resources designed to help (e.g., advising or tutoring) - all while assessing which services and interventions are working. For more information, please call 703.260.1186 or visit http://www.starfishsolutions.com.

About the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium:
The CTDLC is a 10 year-old, successful and growing state-funded institution that currently supports 50 members in their distance learning efforts. It has a robust menu of services, including multiple course delivery platforms, instructional design, faculty development, Web application development, a seven-day-a-week help desk, e-commerce, student services and learning assessment. The CTDLC helps its members, partners and clients provide high-quality instructional environments without high-priced investments. All this makes the CTDLC an ideal partner for quality online education across a range of K-20 institutions and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.ctdlc.org.

About eTutoring.org:
As a service of the CTDLC, eTutoring.org brings together the resources and talent from two- and four-year public and private institutions of higher education. Currently comprising a Northeast Consortium based in Connecticut, representing six states, and a Northwest Consortium, serving Washington and Oregon, eTutoring.org serves students at 60 colleges and universities. Tutors are provided by each member institution and are trained in the use of the program's technology and online tutoring protocols, and their sessions are aggregated into one master schedule. All student and tutor interaction is hosted on eTutoring.org's own synchronous and asynchronous platform, facilitating access to a program that is available to the students at all participating institutions within each consortium. The CTDLC welcomes inquiries from anyone interested in creating a new regional consortium or joining one of the existing programs. For more information, visit http://www.etutoring.org.

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