Starfish Launches Higher Ed Retention Solution

Software provider Starfish Retention Solutions has announced the upcoming launch of its first product, Starfish Office Hours. The company said this will be the first in a series of products intended to help higher education institutions improve retention and graduation rates by aiding in the delivery of programs designed to help at-risk student populations.

Starfish Office Hours is a Web-based application designed to help students overcome some of the obstacles that hinder student/instructor contact. It includes around-the-clock appointment scheduling, instructor endorsements from fellow students, and single login integration with Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle, among others. There is also a calendar function that e-mails instructors as soon as an appointment is scheduled.

"Half of the students enrolled in colleges today will leave before they achieve the goals of their education, be it a degree or improved job skills. Our own research along with the published literature concludes that those odds can be improved through more student contact with instructors, advisors, and counselors," said David Yaskin, founder and CEO, Starfish Retention Solutions. "Starfish Office Hours(TM) enables students to develop and maintain relationships with campus faculty and staff who can help them achieve success. We've worked closely with a number of schools, including Princeton University and Grand Rapids Community College, to develop this new academic-networking software, which provides an efficient, cost-effective platform from which students can be supported outside of the classroom.”

The company is showcasing the platform at BbWorld ’08 in Las Vegas this week. The company has also announced plans to develop additional offerings that focus on tutoring, advising, and mentoring.

About the Author

Chris Riedel is a freelance writer based in Illinois. He can be reached here.

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