Ivy Tech Community College Partners with Starfish Retention Solutions to Power a Comprehensive, Statewide Academic Advising Program

Multi-Year Initiative Will Foster Improved Student Completion and Success Measures


 ARLINGTON, Va. — Sept. 10, 2012 Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise student success systems, announced that Ivy Tech Community College has partnered with the company to advance the College’s efforts to implement a comprehensive academic advising approach throughout the statewide system. The five-year relationship is part of the College’s continued efforts to improve student completion and success outcomes.


Ivy Tech Community College is the nation’s largest statewide community college with single accreditation and Indiana’s largest postsecondary institution, serving nearly 200,000 students a year. The College has 14 administrative regions that include all of Indiana’s 92 counties.


The College has embarked on an effort to design a comprehensive approach to academic advising that provides effective advising for the greatest number of students. The design leverages the best practices of the Ivy Tech regions, the Achieving the Dream program, and NACADA, as well as collective input from advisors, faculty, and students.   


As part of the program development, Ivy Tech sought a technology partner that could help to scale the program to support a statewide initiative, successfully integrate with a host of existing third-party IT systems, and provide powerful analytics and performance measures. The College found that Starfish Retention Solutions offers the right solution to integrate student success data from existing student and administrative systems, provides an easy-to-configure-and-use work flow for advisors and faculty, and supports the College’s goal to codevelop key product functionality, including the ability to automate student academic plans.


Specifically, the Starfish system will be integrated with the Blackboard learning management system, the SunGard Banner student information system, and the DARS degree-audit system. With the Starfish system in place, advisors will be able to conveniently access valuable student success data in these third-party systems in combination with real-time feedback from faculty throughout the academic term. The system will then provide a unified, best practices-based work flow to identify at-risk students, manage intervention efforts, track student performance, create academic plans, and communicate with students.


“We are focused on helping our students achieve their educational goals. Every decision we make at Ivy Tech is based on how it will affect the success of our students. To effectively deliver on this mission, we need to define consistent processes and provide our advising professionals the tools that enable us to efficiently provide advising pathways to success for our students,” said Thomas J. Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College. “Like many other schools, we are facing times of decreasing resources during times of increasing growth. We need to find the right tools to help us serve more students with less staff per student.”

Starfish provides highly integrated software solutions that work across academic and student affairs departments to holistically support the success and retention of students. Specifically, the company offers two software systems that work together to reinforce the efforts of academic advisors as they help students overcome challenges. 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. Starfish CONNECT™, an education networking and case-management system, helps students access a personalized contact list of instructors, advisors, 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.


“For nearly the last two years, Starfish Retention Solutions has been working with two regions within the Ivy Tech Community College system to support their local student retention efforts. As an extension of this experience, we are honored to be selected to support the needs of the entire College, while also codesigning the next-generation academic advising system,” said David Yaskin, CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions. “Working together, we are going to enable a more comprehensive, consistent way for the College’s advisors to offer support to a diverse student population and, as a result, help more students complete their academic pursuits.”  


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 www.starfishsolutions.com.


About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s