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Starfish, eTutoring Team To Boost Student Success

Starfish Retention Solutions is partnering with eTutoring.org to help academic institutions identify at-risk students and provide extra help to them in a timely manner. The partnership is intended to help institutions improve retention and success rates during the first year of college.

Through simple integrations with an institution's course management system, the joint solution will leverage Starfish Early Alert to identify underperforming students, based on measurements of their daily academic activity such as low grades, poor attendance, or missed assignments. The system will then deliver automatic e-mail notifications to those students, alerting them to the institution's concerns. The e-mail will include a direct link to academic support services provided by eTutoring.org, such as online tutoring and writing support.

The partnership between Starfish and eTutoring.org is a result of industry research indicating that student success is largely predicated on two important factors: early identification of a student at risk and use of tutoring, especially for math and writing. The joint solution enables institutions to leverage technology to automate the monitoring and support of students.

Accessible with a single log-in to an institution's course management system, 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 generates performance data for the institution, including resource usage that helps optimize future student service offerings.

"Starfish Retention Solutions knows the impact that tutoring has on a student's ability to overcome academic challenges. We have admired the approach that eTutoring.org has taken to enable schools to join a consortium where tutoring resources are shared among all its members," said David Yaskin, founder and CEO of Starfish. "Through our partnership with eTutoring.org, we are able to extend our value to our client partners by offering a cost-effective and scalable way of providing valuable academic support to their students."

As a service of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), eTutoring.org offers an online tutoring consortium. Students can access a tutor online, submit questions for a tutor to respond to later, or get help with a writing assignment. The tutors are staffed by member institutions within the consortium--reducing the burden for individual institutions. Institutions can join an existing collaborative--or create their own collaborative for a system or group of schools.

"eTutoring.org is proud to be partnering with Starfish to provide this joint solution to the academic community," said Kevin Corcoran, associate executive director of the CTDLC. "Starfish is empowering institutions to know what is happening with their students on a day-to-day basis. The biggest challenge to any early intervention system is faculty adoption and timely information. Starfish has cracked the code by placing its system at the fingertips of faculty, right in the course management system where daily student activity is recorded. Without having to wait for midterm or end-of-term reports, individual faculty members and advisors can know which students need their attention. And now through eTutoring.org, they can give their students the additional layer of academic support they need."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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