ARLINGTON, VA (April 29, 2015) — Hobsons, the world’s leader in connecting learning to life, today announced that the University of Texas at El Paso’s use of the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform has improved course completion for students in large course sections.

In recognition of its work, UTEP was granted a 2014 Starfish 360 Award™ by a panel of independent judges. The Starfish 360 Awards Program is designed to highlight client institutions that are using technology to help students in innovative and impactful ways. UTEP will use the award stipend to expand financial incentives to increase the Starfish community of practice among faculty users.

UTEP is a public university serving 23,000 students at a 433-acre campus in the Paso del Norte region of Texas. Upon joining the Starfish client community in 2009, UTEP recognized the need for a user-friendly tool to help instructors engage with students enrolled in introductory course sections. The Starfish development team worked actively with UTEP faculty during the design and development of the Starfish EARLY ALERT™ tool known as “Zoom-In.” Zoom-in helps faculty send personalized e-mails to students based on their academic performance.

During the pilot semester in 2012, nearly 1,000 UTEP students were enrolled in course sections that used Zoom-In. Results indicated that students in the Zoom-In sections were less likely to withdraw from courses than other students.

Then, during the Fall 2013 semester, faculty across Liberal Arts, Business, and Science tested Zoom-In in one of their two sections only, with guidelines for how to implement the tool to standardize across sections. Students in Zoom-In sections had significantly higher pass rates than their control counterparts, with the high-risk students reaping the most benefits.

“As the student population at UTEP continues to grow, more students are enrolling in introductory, large lecture courses that have traditionally high failure rates, and Starfish Zoom-In has been an important component in addressing student performance in these courses,” said Dr. Junius Gonzales, provost and vice president of academic affairs at UTEP. “The community of Starfish users has grown each year at UTEP as we continue to learn about the benefits for students and advertise Zoom-In as a user friendly, effective tool for engaging students and helping improve their performance in large lecture courses.”

“Like many other public research universities, UTEP works hard to keep students connected to their campus experience – a real challenge when an introductory course classroom holds more than a hundred students,” said David Yaskin, senior advisor at Hobsons and former CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions. “With their wide and effective use of Zoom-In, UTEP instructors are able to easily reach out to students and keep them on track. We are proud to honor their successes with a Starfish 360 Award.”

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™ 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, and 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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