Starfish Retention Solutions Introduces Starfish ADVISING to Help Institutions Create Clear Paths to Success for Students
ARLINGTON, VA (February 26, 2014) — Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading student success company, today announced the general availability of Starfish ADVISING™, the newest module of the Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™. As a complement to an institution’s existing degree audit process used to determine how far a student has progressed toward completing a degree, Starfish ADVISING helps advisors give students a forward-looking path to success so students can see the impact of their academic and personal choices. The new module was developed in partnership with the Starfish client community, including Ivy Tech Community College.
More than 20,000 advisors across the country are using the Starfish system in the spring 2014 academic term to understand which of their students need special attention, remove obstacles to impactful student meetings, and keep track of their efforts to intervene with students.
Starfish ADVISING expands the potential for student-advisor engagement by including academic planning. Complete College America indicates that the lack of academic plans has been identified as an overlooked contributor to poor student completion and transfer rates. Students, particularly first-generation students, do not always have the organizational knowledge and expertise in planning needed to successfully map and track the path to a degree. Traditionally, institutions have used a paper-based system to document academic plans, which can be time-consuming to create and manage, can become quickly obsolete as a student’s circumstances change, and can be misplaced or lost.
With the new Starfish ADVISING module, advisors are able to use convenient templates configured by the institution to proactively plan a student’s academic path. The software automatically monitors the plan, notifying advisors and students when the plan is not followed. The planning functionality also provides academic departments with valuable information to help project the demand for courses in upcoming terms.
In addition, advisors can use Starfish ADVISING to capture student data that is not available in existing student information systems, including the student’s life circumstances (e.g., transportation logistics, work requirements) that may impact his or her chance at success. The software facilitates a powerful discussion with students about what they hope to achieve and which plan is right for them.
“Staying on course to earn a degree can be difficult for students, particularly at a community college where we serve large numbers of nontraditional students,” said Beverly Walker-Griffea, Ph.D., senior vice president for student services at Montgomery College. “We have been very pleased with the academic planning functionality from Starfish. The system is helping our advisors document for our students what a path to success can look like. Having positive, future-looking conversations grounded in the reality of each student’s life creates a very solid foundation for our students to be successful with us.”
The Starfish Enterprise Success Platform builds on the company’s mission to help students finish what they start. Comprising four distinct but connected modules, the platform enables institutions to view all of their campus data and activities through the lens of student success. Starfish EARLY ALERT™ enables institutions to learn more about their students as early as possible. Starfish CONNECT™ makes it easy for students to engage with those on campus dedicated to their success. Starfish ADVISING gives students an academic path to follow in order to achieve success. And Starfish INSIGHT™, which will be available in 2014, will enable institutions to measure the effectiveness of their student success initiatives.
“Starfish Retention Solutions is proud to introduce Starfish ADVISING,” said David Yaskin, CEO of the company. “We fundamentally believe that life happens every day. When the circumstances in a student’s life change – and they almost always do – those changes often have a direct impact on that student’s success. With a flexible, dynamic, goal-oriented plan in place, students are able to make better choices at the forefront, and throughout, to keep them working toward the finish line.”
The Starfish Enterprise Success Platform™ consists of software modules that collectively harness the power of the campus community in order to help students finish what they start. Specifically, the modules 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 visit www.starfishsolutions.com.