Retention

Hobsons' New Platform Combines Data Analytics, Early Intervention Tools for Higher Ed

Hobsons, a software developer that has been best known for creating digital counseling tools for K-12 students preparing for college, has updated its Starfish Enterprise Success Platform in an effort to take advantage of the acquisition of a company earlier this year.

In January, the company acquired the PAR Framework, which has created a data analytics tool that gathers 77 commonly defined data variables from the student information systems of a network of partner higher education institutions to analyze student behavior.

In February 2015, Hobsons acquired Starfish Retention Solutions, which helps colleges and universities with academic planning, advising and identifying students who are at risk of not meeting their goals. Its Starfish Enterprise Success Platform has four modules that identify at-risk students in real time, identify concerns and connect students with resources such as tutoring, mentoring and personalized support.

The hope is to integrate the underlying technology of the PAR Framework with Starfish to create a product that applies predictive analytics, data visualization and intervention management tools to improve early alert processes, case management and academic planning for higher education students.

Hobsons has spent most of the year integrating the two companies' tools and is now introducing the expanded Starfish Enterprise Success Platform. The idea is to help colleges and universities not just identify the students who are at risk, but also provide the appropriate follow-up support and services available on campus.

"We are already leveraging Starfish and PAR technologies on multiple campuses to identify students who need help," said University of Hawaii System President David Lassner. "With the integration of Starfish and PAR, Hobsons is becoming a key partner in helping us build a culture and practice around our commitment to student success."

Before the acquisitions, Hobsons provided tools for student lifecycle management, application and admissions management, as well as tools designed to help K-12 students identify their strengths and interests and to find appropriate higher education matches.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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