Maryland, Wisconsin, and Montana Higher Ed Institutions Win 2017 Hobsons Education Advances Awards

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Morgan State University, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and Montana State University Northern Recognized at Annual Hobsons University User Conference

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Morgan State University, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and Montana State University Northern today were named winners of the 2017 Hobsons Education Advances Awards. The awards were announced at the annual Hobsons University user conference.

Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wisc., tied for this year’s Student Success award, while Montana State University Northern in Havre, Mont., won the Admissions & Enrollment award.

Since implementing the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform, Morgan State University’s Office of Student Success and Retention has been able to use student data to build interventions designed to help students reach graduation. Morgan State, a historically black university that enrolls many low-income, first-generation students, has seen the results of having a transparent and efficient method of early risk targeting and intervention and is improving student accountability.

“Having a very clear, discreet degree path has been one of our challenges, and our work with Starfish -- including the early alert system -- has addressed some of those challenges,” said Dr. Tiffany Mfume, Director, Office of Student Success and Retention at Morgan State. “Technology doesn’t replace human engagement; it fosters human engagement. Starfish keeps us on the same page in a way that we’ve never had before.”

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), the joint winner of the Student Success & Advising Award, uses the Starfish platform to make student success the focal point of the student experience. At NWTC, faculty members are deeply engaged with the Starfish platform, and the institution has seen improved course pass rates, graduation rates, and program persistence since implementing the technology.

“The challenge we faced initially was to move from a belief that it’s up to the students to do it all, and that if for some reason they don’t make it, then it’s because they didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” said Jeffrey Rafn, President of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. “Instead, we wanted to change to a culture with the way of thinking that when students are here, they will be successful. And if they are not, what is it that we could have done that would have increased the probability that they would succeed?”

Located in rural Montana, Montana State University Northern is part of the broader Montana State University system, which pursued a partnership with Hobsons in 2015 to implement its Radius platform, an admissions and enrollment management CRM. Since this implementation, the Office of Admissions and Recruiting has been able to create a more efficient workflow, resulting in improved recruitment efforts.

“Before we had Radius and the CRM, we didn’t have a CRM. We didn’t know if we had the right email; we didn’t know if we were contacting the right student. We didn’t know what the student had told the recruiter, and with us only having three recruiters, and having a lot of them on the road, one recruiter wouldn’t have one student, so you could never build that relationship,” said Maura Gatch, Director of Admissions at Montana State University Northern. “With Radius, we are able to build relationships, assign students based on location to a recruiter, and be able to keep track of what we have talked about. Now, when we have a second conversation with a student, it’s actually an informative conversation.”

The Hobsons Education Advances Awards symbolize the innovation that is possible when an institution combines people, process, and technology to make a difference in the lives of students.

“Hobsons is proud to celebrate the institutions who put their students first,” said Kate Cassino, CEO of Hobsons. “These three colleges and universities have excelled by pairing top technologies with caring people and smart strategies to enroll students and help them to achieve academic and professional excellence. We look forward to seeing how they will continue to innovate to further student success.”

Award winners will receive a cash prize to further boost student program initiatives. Finalists Guttman Community College, California University of Pennsylvania, and Colorado School of Mines also were recognized for outstanding work in admissions and enrollment and in advancing student success.

Hobsons announced the winner of its College and Career Readiness Award, honoring Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas, at last week’s K-12 user conference, Naviance Summer Institute, in Orlando, Fla.

About Hobsons
Hobsons helps students identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, match to best-fit educational opportunities, and reach their education and life goals. Through our solutions, we enable thousands of educational institutions to improve college and career planning, admissions and enrollment management, and student success and advising for millions of students around the globe.

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