Higher Education Institutions Document Improved Student Persistence with Starfish Retention Solutions

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Enterprise Student Success and Retention Platform Supports Institutional Student Success Efforts through Early Identification of At-Risk Students, Student Support Networking, and Intervention Management

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After adopting the Starfish platform as part of our student success and retention initiatives, we are seeing valuable gains in our student persistence metrics...

Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of student success systems, today announced a number of improved student persistence results that have been documented by its client institutions. While institutions adopt the Starfish platform for a variety of reasons, student persistence rates are important metrics and tangible indications of a student success program’s effect.

“The University of North Carolina at Greensboro monitors enrollment data very closely to see how the institution is performing and where improvements can be made,” said Holly Hebard, coordinator of academic outreach at UNCG. “After adopting the Starfish platform as part of our student success and retention initiatives, we are seeing valuable gains in our student persistence metrics, particularly in the number of students who are eligible to continue their enrollment and the number of students who actually do reenroll at the institution.”

The Starfish community is comprised of more than 175 institutions, including four-year public, four-year private, and two-year institutions. The following institutions have reported outcomes data for the most recently completed academic year.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). The four-year public institution has implemented a strategy to provide early intervention to students, enhance communication between faculty and students, enable easier access to advisors, and guide students to tutoring and other academic support resources. The institution has reported that of the students who were flagged by the Starfish system in Fall 2011, 97.6% were eligible to continue their enrollment the following term (Spring 2012), and 84.4% did continue their enrollment at the institution.

Becker College. The four-year private institution, named as one of the "Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review for its undergraduate programs, offers students a comprehensive first year advising program. A Title III grant and a dedicated Student Support Team on campus enable both people and technology to aid student success. The Starfish platform was implemented in Spring 2011 and has helped increase first to second year persistence by 4% (Fall 2012 vs. Fall 2010).

Iowa Valley Community College District. The two-year institution, which is comprised of two colleges and three campuses, leveraged a Title III grant to implement the Starfish system. The system helps faculty and staff to manually flag students based on low grades and other performance factors. An independent consultant who analyzed the impact of the flagging found through a multivariate regression analysis that 19% more students passed their class when flagged for academic concerns because they engaged with support services.

Accessible with a single login from an institution’s student information system, portal system, or learning management system (e.g., Blackboard, WebCT, ANGEL, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Canvas), 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. The system includes advanced early warning analytics agents that process student success information, including instructor perception data, student self-assessment data, learning management system data, and student information system data. Starfish CONNECT™, an education support networking and case management system, helps students access a personalized contact list of instructors, advisors, tutors, and counselors who are dedicated to helping them succeed. The system also provides informative academic plans to help keep students on track. Together, the systems generate valuable performance and resource utilization data for the institution, which helps optimize future service offerings.

“At Starfish, we are focused on helping our client institutions move the needle in a meaningful way,” said David Yaskin, founder and CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions. “The challenge of getting more students to finish what they start academically is multi-faceted. It is very rewarding to see institutions that have been able to put the right student success components together, including the use of technology, ultimately make a difference in their student persistence rates. This means an improvement for the institution’s data, but it also means an improvement in the lives of the students who were able to continue pursuing their goals who might have otherwise dropped out.”

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 http://www.starfishsolutions.com.

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