Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading student success company, today announced the charter program for Starfish INSIGHT, the newest module of the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform. Starfish INSIGHT enables institutions to quickly and easily visualize the correlations between their efforts to help students be successful and the related student outcomes. Youngstown State University, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, The New School, and ECPI University are among the institutions that have already signed on to adopt the new software and help refine its design as part of the charter program.
Higher education institutions have invested in an array of innovative approaches to help students be successful, ranging from comprehensive ideas, such as living-learning communities and technology-enhanced classrooms to discrete improvements, such as additional professional development for tutoring staff. Uncovering the effect of these initiatives on student outcomes remains a challenge for decision makers in both academic and student affairs. Without this insight, institutions cannot align their efforts effectively by doing more of what works and changing what does not work.
Most institutions are capable of this analysis, but the effort typically falls on overworked institutional research offices with limited bandwidth to support additional innovation in academic and student services. The challenge is compounded by the complexity of accessing data regarding which students participated in which activities.
“Analytics programs have been a recent hot topic across higher education, yet there is considerable confusion about what analytics means and what the purpose should be. Institutions need help interpreting their existing data so they can make smarter choices,” said Linda Baer, Ph.D., principal consultant at i4Solutions and former senior program officer focused on Postsecondary Success for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Starfish INSIGHT promises to answer questions that higher education institutions have been grappling with for a long time about their student success programs. By progressively improving the way people use their campus data, Starfish INSIGHT will provide the ability to conduct both cohort and longitudinal research. I envision a product like Starfish INSIGHT becoming a key component of an institution’s toolkit for student success.”
Powered by a leading business intelligence engine, Starfish INSIGHT provides customizable reports and dashboards to each function in academic affairs and student affairs, and to other managers who need to know how instruction and student support efforts are affecting student outcomes. The software uniquely combines data from an unlimited number of sources, including learning technologies, student information systems, student support tools, student analytics solutions (including predictive instruments), and other modules of the Starfish platform.
Users are able to view summary and detail information about student participation in any student success program or innovation (first-year experience, tutoring, e-books used in courses, etc.); learn what students are doing in those offerings, and when and how frequently they are doing it; and understand which programs have the biggest and least impact on student outcomes. Data can be aggregated or sliced across dimensions that include demographics, academic preparedness, grit, institutional engagement, academic status, financial status, and use of technology, including the use of the Starfish platform. Future enhancements will include additional predictive analytics and benchmarks that will compare the user’s institution to the broader Starfish community, which currently includes more than three million students at more than 240 institutions.
“We have been very impressed by Starfish INSIGHT,” said Dr. Pamela Phillips, vice president of student services at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. “Although we have always been able to look at measures of core student success outcomes, the magic question for us has always been uncovering the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind the numbers. Starfish INSIGHT will help us connect the dots between what we are doing programmatically and our reported outcomes, so that we can understand the impact that we are having and ultimately make more informed decisions.”
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 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 individuals on campus who are dedicated to their success. Starfish ADVISING gives students an academic path to follow in order to achieve success. Starfish INSIGHT enables institutions to measure the effectiveness of their student success initiatives.
“Starfish Retention Solutions is proud to introduce Starfish INSIGHT,” said David Yaskin, CEO of the company. “As a student success company, we believe that every student has potential and everyone deserves a chance, even those who are predicted to struggle. As a result, we have focused our efforts on helping institutions understand more about how they are helping students. This new module goes far beyond simple reporting of how institutions are using our platform. Starfish INSIGHT dives headfirst into the wide array of student success initiatives, giving institutions the ability to uncover how these programs are making a difference.”
About Starfish Retention Solutions
Starfish Retention Solutions is a leading provider of student success systems. 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 www.starfishsolutions.com.