Starfish Clients Named 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Finalists

Pasadena City College and Pierce College Recognized by The Aspen Institute in Biannual Award

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 24, 2018 - Starfish by Hobsons is pleased to announce that two Starfish clients have been selected as finalists for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Every two years, the Aspen Institute recognizes ten community colleges as finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Finalists are selected from over 1,000 community colleges throughout the United States. Institutions are recognized for their achievement of high and improving student success outcomes.

The Starfish clients recognized for their achievement in student outcomes are:

  • Pasadena City College, Pasadena, Calif. - Pasadena City College was recognized for their specialized advising initiative for students who aim to transfer to a four-year college. This initiative has led to a transfer rate that is eight percentage points higher than the national average. Additionally, Pasadena City College places a high importance on improving outcomes for veterans, low-income students, and students of color. Pasadena City College was previously selected as a finalist for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence in 2017. Pasadena City College began using Starfish in 2016.
  • Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom, Lakewood, Wash. - Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom offers intensive advising support, and is deeply committed to increasing the likelihood of graduation for their students. Pierce College achieved a three-year graduation and transfer rate of 59%. The institution is a first time finalist for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Pierce College is a recent addition to the Starfish community.

“We are happy for any opportunity to shine a spotlight on the success of our nation’s community colleges, and would like to congratulate all of the Aspen prize finalists for their outstanding work,” said Howard Bell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Starfish. “We are extremely proud that two members of the Starfish family are among their ranks, and look forward to playing a part in their future successes.”


About The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award, and other initiatives, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ understanding and capacity to teach and graduate students, especially the growing population of low-income and minority students on American campuses. For more information, visit

About The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

About Hobsons

A global leader in education technology, Hobsons helps students to identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, match to best-fit educational opportunities, and reach their education and life goals. More than 13,000 K-12 and higher education institutions partner with Hobsons and leverage our solutions -- Naviance, Intersect, and Starfish -- to improve college and career readiness, holistic college admissions, and higher education student support for millions of students around the world.

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