University system recognized for partnership with Hobsons, use of data analytics and digital tools to improve student success

ARLINGTON, VA – September 8, 2016 – Today, the University of Hawaii system (UH) is being recognized by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) for its advanced application of data and digital advising tools to help improve student retention in the state. 

“We are honored to be recognized by WCET, and believe this is a testament to our campuses and technology partners who have helped us make a significant impact on the academic outcomes and lives of UH students,” said Hae Okimoto, Ph.D., Director of Academic Technologies at the University of Hawaii System. 

Over the past four years, UH has transformed its institutional decision-making process by using data to surface timely insights to improve policies and direct student services. The system’s sophisticated use of data has informed system-wide initiatives that have already demonstrated a significant effect on student success.

As a founding institutional partner of the PAR Framework, a division of Hobsons, the system has leveraged its PAR membership to benchmark existing efforts, identify factors that have the biggest impact on student retention, and surface new effective practices to drive student success. 

For example, in 2011, UH launched a 15 to Finish campaign as part of the Hawaii Graduation Initiative to improve four-year graduation rates across UH campuses. Students were encouraged to take 15 credits per semester to graduate on time. Today, the percentage of first-time freshmen at the system’s four-year campuses taking 15 credits or more has increased from 36.1 to 59.2 percent, and the 15 to Finish campaign has been adopted by 20 other states.

“We are thrilled that an innovative organization like WCET is recognizing one of the PAR founding members for significant accomplishments in improving student success. The team at the University of Hawaii has repeatedly demonstrated its leadership through the practical application of analytics and effective use of technology to help students achieve their goals," said Beth Davis, General Manager of PAR Framework at Hobsons. "We're learning alongside the University of Hawaii system, as they have pushed our own thinking in the ways that thoughtful data analysis and proactive advising can make a real difference for students."

Most recently, UH system member Honolulu Community College is piloting a program that integrates disparate data sources into Hobsons’ Starfish Early Alert in order to better retain under-represented students in STEM fields. 

The WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) awards program is designed to recognize colleges, universities, and organizations that are implementing exceptionally creative, technology-based solutions to address challenges in higher education. The UH system will be recognized as one of the three winners of the 2016 WOW awards during the annual WCET meeting in Minneapolis next month.

For more information on the 2016 WCET WOW awards program and this year’s winners, visit

About the PAR Framework 
The PAR Framework, a division of Hobsons, offers higher education stakeholders a unique perspective on using data to help at-risk students stay in school and reach their educational goals. PAR improves student success with predictive models, collaborative benchmarks, and frameworks that identify critical points of student risk. PAR is known for its development of common, openly published data definitions and student success frameworks, which allow institutions to collaborate with each other to improve student outcomes. 

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. Hobsons works with more than 12,000 schools, colleges, and universities and serves more than 13 million students.


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