ARLINGTON, VA (December 4, 2014) — Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., will join President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden along with hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action helps to support the President’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits to support students across the country to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment.

Starfish Retention Solutions commits to the following:

  1. Provide the North Carolina Community College System and the University of Missouri System the aggregated student data from their member colleges/campuses which are part of the Starfish community. The data will inform the system’s own research on what is working with their collective student success efforts. Feedback on the process of using the aggregated data from disparate college and university systems will further inform Starfish’s state-level data management and research with other systems across the country.
  2. Offer complimentary predictive analytic services to Davidson County Community College, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and Morgan State University.  The service will develop predictive models to identify students who are at risk for leaving the institution in order for the institutions to intervene more effectively. Feedback on the models and their effectiveness for improving student success will further inform institution-level research across the country.
  3. Research the common characteristics of the institutions that most successfully produce women and minority graduates in STEM majors based on its aggregated data from more than 240 institutions and 4+ million students. Starfish will publicly publish the findings.

The Starfish commitments enable its five partnering institutions to more effectively and efficiently achieve their separate goals. Additionally, to achieve its third goal, the Starfish Director of Data Science will use data from the company’s 240-client integrated data store to build models that will uncover institutional and student support characteristics which are correlated to increased levels of success of women and minority STEM students. The institutions above commit to adding more than 15,000 college graduates by 2025, supported by their partnership with Starfish Retention Solutions.

“Our collaboration with Starfish has been an intentional and integrated component of DCCC’s overall Student Success Model. This innovative software helps us track students and identify which of our students are displaying academic risk behaviors. Our advisors and other support personnel are then able to utilize the system to reach out and connect with those students to provide on time intervention. I can’t say enough about how successful this program has been for us as a college. The impact of the Starfish platform is clear in our students’ success stories, who often voice their support for a system that helps them overcome challenges and stay on track toward completion of their college goals,” said Dr. Mary Rittling, president of Davidson County Community College.  “We are excited to be able to partner with Starfish in a new endeavor, implementing a predictive analytics model that will enable us to identify students who are at risk of not completing and allow even earlier intervention.  We look forward to sharing the results of our successful partnership with Starfish with other schools throughout the country.”

“Starfish is honored to take part in today’s White House event on college access and completion,” said David Yaskin, CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions. “We are proud of the progress that we have made on our commitments made at the January 2014 summit, and are excited to commit to three new initiatives that will provide valuable student success insights for our partner institutions and systems, as well as the higher education community at large.”

Today’s participants were asked to commit to new action in one of four areas: building networks of colleges around promoting completion, creating K-16 partnerships around college readiness, investing in high school counselors as part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative, and increasing the number of college graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The President will announce new steps on how his Administration is helping to support these actions, including announcing $10 million to help promote college completion and a $30 million AmeriCorps program that will improve low-income students’ access to college.  Today’s event is the second College Opportunity Day of Action, and will include a progress report on the commitments made at the first day of action on January 14, 2014.

Expanding opportunity for more students to enroll and succeed in college, especially low-income and underrepresented students, is vital to building a strong economy and a strong middle class.  Today, only 9 percent of those born in the lowest family income quartile attain a bachelor’s degree by age 25, compared to 54 percent in the top quartile. In an effort to expand college access, the Obama Administration has increased Pell scholarships by $1,000 a year, created the new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, limited student loan payments to 10 percent of income, and laid out an ambitious agenda to reduce college costs and promote innovation and competition.

About Starfish

The Starfish Enterprise Success Platform helps institutions efficiently scale their student success programs so that more students can finish what they start. Specifically, the software identifies at-risk students in real time based on their daily course-work performance and faculty concerns and then connects them to the resources designed to help (e.g., advising or tutoring), all while assessing which services and interventions are working. For more information, call 703.260.1186 or visit


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