Hobsons Debuts Starfish 7, the First Fully-Integrated Enterprise Solution for Student Success in Higher Education

Updates to the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform Leverage Predictive Analytics to Empower Colleges to Improve Student Retention and Completion

ARLINGTON, VA -- July 24, 2017 -- Today Hobsons, the leading provider of college and career readiness, enrollment management, and student success solutions, released Starfish 7, the latest version of its Starfish Enterprise Success Platform and the first fully-integrated enterprise product for student success in higher education. By pairing Starfish’s capabilities for in-depth advising, case management, and degree planning with the PAR Framework’s predictive analytics, performance benchmarking and intervention inventories, this new iteration of Starfish allows higher education institutions to impact student progress and success from within one platform.

While other planning and advising tools in the market can point to the risks threatening student retention, few provide the tools needed to mitigate these obstacles and help students succeed. Starfish 7 analyzes institutional data, benchmarking tools, validated predictors of risk, student activity, and other performance indicators to identify the variables that may jeopardize a student’s ability to progress towards completion, then helps advisors determine which interventions will be most likely to provide relief. Counselors can create effective plans to keep every student on the path to success, accounting for factors such as demographics, program choices, and velocity to completion.

“Our goal is to afford every student the opportunity to reach the next educational milestone – whether that’s completion of a degree, a credential, or a skill that helps them get a better job,” said Howard Bell, SVP, Higher Education Student Success at Hobsons. “With the integration of the PAR Framework into our strong Starfish core capabilities, we’re making it easier to identify which factors are actually putting a student at risk of not meeting these milestones, and providing practical steps for intervening.”

The newest features added to the updated Starfish platform were created based on the feedback from the Starfish client community, and include:

  • Embedded Analytics. Starfish 7 includes predictive analytics based on the research and methodologies developed by the PAR Framework (acquired by Hobsons in 2016) that will deliver useful data to both advisors and institutional leadership. With user-friendly reports for benchmarking, student risk analysis, course pathway review, and more, Starfish 7 clients have the critical data at their fingertips – and an award-winning toolset to turn that data into action.
  • An Integrated Intervention Inventory. The updated Starfish platform now provides access to the Student Success Matrix (SSMx), a powerful tool for defining and sharing the student supports that exist across campus. The SSMx includes tools to measure and track interventions across known risk predictors, allowing institutions to identify and scale efforts that are making the biggest improvement.
  • Support for Pathways. The academic planning capabilities in Starfish 7 include more robust student interfaces for establishing core requirements, adjusting plans to reflect a student’s changing needs, and connection to course registration systems.
  • A Stronger Starfish Core. More than 350 colleges and universities currently use Starfish alerts, calendars, and case management tools to identify at-risk students and help them get back on track. Starfish 7 includes improvements to this core feature set, including student onboarding, alert workflows, and reporting.
  • Accessibility. Starfish 7 features WCAG 2.0 AA Compliance, validated by WebAIM, which exceeds the typical government standards for accessibility and reaffirms Hobsons’ commitment to creating inclusive, accessible software.

“The process of uncovering the interventions being used on all of our campuses was a game-changer for us,” noted Dr. MJ Bishop, Director of the William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland.  “It has allowed us to have conversations about the unique needs of students at each of our diverse campuses. The institutions can see where we are duplicating efforts and where students are still falling through the cracks. And then we know what we can actually do about it.”

To learn more about the updated Starfish platform, register for a webinar on August 17, 2017 at 2pm ET / 11am PT.

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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