Colorado State University–Global Campus Adopts Starfish to Bolster Success Efforts for Online Students

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Fully Online Institution Reinforces Commitment to Helping Students Complete Education Goals

Ultimately, our goal with Starfish is to improve student retention. In the short term, we are focused on accelerating the time it takes to connect with a student and offer support when an issue has been identified...

Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of student success systems, announced today that Colorado State University–Global Campus has deployed Starfish® to improve its ability to track student activity and progress, ensuring that at-risk students receive help as quickly as possible.

As one of three campuses that comprise the Colorado State University System, CSU–Global Campus provides a high-quality online university program focused on the needs of adult, nontraditional learners who are working to advance themselves in today’s competitive global marketplace. Since opening in 2008, the institution has served the needs of Colorado and its citizens by enabling them to complete their bachelor’s degrees or earn their master’s degrees.

“Ultimately, our goal with Starfish is to improve student retention,” said Angela Ellis, associate dean of student success for CSU–Global Campus. “In the short term, we are focused on accelerating the time it takes to connect with a student and offer support when an issue has been identified either through direct faculty feedback or from the student’s actual academic performance. As an online institution it is very important to know when a student is falling behind.”

With Starfish in place, the software system automatically checks the academic performance of students within the Blackboard® course management system (e.g., missed assignments, attendance, lack of activity in the online course) and raises a flag when an issue is identified. CSU–Global Campus will continue to expand its automation of student retention activities as it works with Starfish to identify functions that meet the needs of its faculty, students and administration.

“Our previous process for tracking students was quite labor intensive and placed a significant burden on our faculty members to complete what is otherwise an administrative function of reporting and tracking. Starfish is allowing us to achieve the same objective in a more efficient way by making use of the data that we already had in place but could not tap as easily. Now we are able to connect with students sooner when issues arise, reinforcing our commitment to their personal success,” said Ellis.

Accessible with a single login to an institution’s student information system, portal system or course management system (e.g., Blackboard, WebCT or ANGEL), Starfish is a collection of two software systems. 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. Starfish CONNECT™, an education support networking system, helps students access a personalized contact list of instructors, advisors and counselors who are dedicated to helping them succeed. Together, the systems generate valuable performance and resource utilization data for the institution, which helps optimize future service offerings.

“Starfish Retention Solutions allows innovative, online institutions like CSU–Global Campus to work more efficiently when it comes to identifying the students who may need help and then reaching out to offer that help,” said David Yaskin, CEO and founder of Starfish Retention Solutions. “By leveraging their existing course management system, they are turning real-time data into actionable information that is ultimately helping students achieve their education goals.”

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 coursework performance and faculty concerns, 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

About Colorado State University–Global Campus
Colorado State University–Global Campus delivers the next generation of online education that lives up to the reputation of the Colorado State University System for quality and innovation. Offering accredited bachelor’s completion and master’s programs in career-relevant fields, CSU–Global Campus is designed to fit into the busy lives of working adults. The 100 percent online campus has faculty who are national leaders in their fields of study and are specially trained to teach adult learners in an online environment. CSU–Global Campus offers eight-week courses, with multiple start dates per semester and a simplified enrollment process.


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