ARLINGTON, VA (June 8, 2015) – Hobsons, the world’s leader in connecting learning to life, is pleased to recognize Philadelphia University, Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Viterbo University in Wisconsin, as the Rising Stars of the Starfish 360 Awards Program™. The program is designed to recognize institutions in the Starfish client community that help students in innovative ways.

The Rising Star designation is given to institutions that have used the Starfish platform for approximately one year at the time of award submission and have made considerable progress in their adoption of technology to support student success programs.

The distinguished panel of independent judges for the 2014 awards included Dr. Julie Noble, Principal Research Associate at ACT, Inc., Janeane Panfil, Senior Vice President of Retention Solutions at Noel-Levitz, and Dr. Randy Swing, Executive Director of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).

The 2014 Starfish 360 Rising Star Winners:

  • Ramapo College: The College uses Starfish EARLY ALERT to support first-year students, student-athletes, and other student populations, while opening Starfish CONNECT to the entire campus for advising and case management. The first Starfish EARLY ALERT Progress Survey prompted 77.28 percent of faculty to identify concerns about 1,592 students and route those concerns directly to the student’s advisors. About 31 percent of students deemed “academically at-risk” took the next step by meeting with their advisors prior to the course registration deadline, up from less than 20 percent before using Success Plans in Starfish CONNECT.
  • Philadelphia University: In 2013, Philadelphia University launched “First-Years First,” a 10-point retention plan focused on improving retention, one course at a time. Starfish EARLY ALERT and Starfish CONNECT have become critical for identifying concerns and connecting students to resources. Today, 96 percent of full-time and adjunct faculty – and every academic advisor – have used the Starfish platform. Of the students who received an “In Danger of Failing” flag, 75 percent were able to either pass their course or withdraw before impacting their GPA.
  • Viterbo University: Viterbo University advisors rely upon Starfish EARLY ALERT to identify students who are struggling. Advisors find the data captured in the Starfish platform essential to plan and prioritize outreach and meetings. Viterbo has found that simple, automated notifications to students are often enough to prompt self-corrective action. In fall 2013, 70.4 percent of students had a successful outcome in courses where they received at least one alert flag, up from a 59 percent student success rate using the previous homegrown system.

“The Starfish 360 Rising Stars are already seeing impressive results,” said David Yaskin, Senior Vice President of Student Success at Hobsons and founder of Starfish Retention Solutions. “We are inspired by the impact these schools have been able to make in a short period of time, and we’re proud that the Starfish platform is playing a part in their efforts.”

About Hobsons
Hobsons is the world’s leader in connecting learning to life. Through our unique advising and admissions products, we help more than 12 million students around the globe identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, and find the right college match. We partner with more than 10,000 schools, colleges, and universities to better prepare students for success. For more information, visit

About the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform
The patented Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™ by Hobsons helps hundreds of colleges and universities efficiently scale their student success programs so that more students can make informed academic and life choices to achieve their academic and life goals and finish what they start. Hobsons’ Starfish platform supports more than 4.5 million students each term. The Starfish platform identifies at-risk students in real time, pinpoints areas of concern, connects students with valuable services, and helps assess which services and interventions will keep students on track. For more information, visit


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