Starfish Retention Solutions Introduces Starfish 2

Expanded Functionality Offers Unparalleled Productivity Tools and Insights That Enable Institutions to Help Students Complete Academic Goals

Arlington, VA – Aug. 4, 2011 — Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of student success systems, today announced Starfish® 2, the latest version of the company’s student success and retention platform. Culminating more than two years of development in collaboration with leading institutions around the world, Starfish 2 is projected to support more than 650,000 students in the 2011-2012 academic year. Available via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Starfish 2 will be ready for client institutions at the end of August.

“Starfish has a fundamentally different perspective on how institutions can help their students be successful. The approaches of other retention systems on the market today focus mostly on student groups from specific cohorts. However, if a college or university wants to provide individualized support to ALL students, I think that Starfish is a system that truly provides the necessary edge to deliver results,” said Dr. Al Valbuena, vice president for IT at Bowie State University. “The new enhancements in Starfish 2 offer friendlier interfaces that allow any institution to offer tools that enable instructors, advisors, and support staff to communicate, creating a real ‘Personalized Support Network’ that promotes the success of each individual student. In addition, I firmly believe that the new enhancements in Starfish 2 will support analytics reporting with ease, to assess and model the effectiveness of retention strategies.”

The release of Starfish 2 includes new functionality that expands on the company’s commitment to offer solutions that enable the full campus community to help students complete their goals, including:

Executive Reports for Senior Administration. Starfish 2 includes innovative executive reports that help senior administrators easily correlate student success efforts with student outcomes to answer the million-dollar question “Did the intervention efforts to help students make a difference?”

Student Action Plans for Advisors and Counselors. Building an actionable success plan with a student is a clear way to help that student achieve his/her goals. Starfish 2 offers built-in milestone settings so advisors and counselors can clearly document shared expectations with both students and the broader community. The system also includes tracking capabilities to help keep tabs on a student’s progress.

Advanced Attendance Tracking for Instructors and Researchers. Student success research points to the relationship between student attendance and student success. Starfish 2 introduces advanced attendance tracking capabilities that enable instructors and teaching assistants to easily document who attends, shows up late, does not attend, or is excused. The institution is able to use this data to flag students automatically, to research trends of student success and failure, and to determine appropriate policies. The system can also be configured to automatically notify the student’s support team, including advisors, deans, and special population counselors, when a student has attendance problems in one or more courses.

Enterprise Center Scheduling for Large Tutoring and Advising Centers. Starfish 2 extends the self-service scheduling features for students with a new toolset for the tutoring and advising center administrators. Starfish 2 simplifies walk-ins, cancellations, and staff scheduling conflicts by providing a comprehensive view of all staff members’ calendars in one easy-to-navigate location.

Accessible with a single login from an institution’s student information system, portal system, or learning management system (e.g., Blackboard, WebCT, ANGEL, Moodle), Starfish 2 is a collection of two software systems. Starfish EARLY ALERT™ is an early warning and student tracking system that makes it possible for instructors, advisors, and academic staff to identify at-risk students in real time. The system includes advanced early warning analytics agents that process student success information including instructor perception data, student self-assessment data, learning management system data, and student information system data. Starfish CONNECT™, an education support networking and case management system, helps students access a personalized contact list of instructors, advisors, tutors and counselors, who are dedicated to helping them succeed. Together, the systems generate valuable performance and resource utilization data for the institution, which helps optimize future service offerings.

“Starfish Retention Solutions is committed to helping institutions make sense of the thousands of data points that exist about each student’s potential for success so they can provide support as quickly as possible,” said David Yaskin, founder and CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions. “We thank the dozens of institutions that spent countless hours with us explaining their needs, reviewing prototypes, and helping us develop Starfish 2. We are excited to make it available to our client community.”

Starfish will be hosting a Webinar presentation to demonstrate Starfish 2. The complimentary Webinar will be held on September 1, 2011, at 2 p.m. ET. For details on the presentation and to register, go to

About Starfish Retention Solutions

Starfish Retention Solutions is a leading provider of student success systems. The company offers a collection of software solutions that harness the power of the campus community in order to engage, motivate and graduate more students — securing valuable tuition revenue through student retention. Specifically, the solutions help institutions identify at-risk students in real time, based on their daily course work 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 call 703.260.1186 or visit


John Plunkett
Vice President, Marketing & Operations
[email protected]

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