data dashboard

Hobsons expands the Starfish Enterprise success platform

Holistic approach leverages Starfish and PAR capabilities to provide institutional leadership with guidance, trusted data, and actionable insights to scale student success across campus.

Hobsons, the leading advising, admissions, and student success company, introduces today the expanded Starfish Enterprise Success Platform, designed to help higher education leaders align their people, data, and systems to give students the best opportunity to achieve their goals.

Within the past two years, Hobsons acquired Starfish Retention Solutions and the PAR Framework and has worked to combine the underlying technologies which now form the backbone of the expanded offering. The company is bringing together predictive analytics, data visualizations, and intervention management and efficacy with early alert, case management, and academic planning functionality. By choosing an integrated approach, institutional leaders can make data-informed decisions, measure student outcomes, connect advisors and other services staff to their students and to each other, and empower students to engage with their campus community.

“At the University of Hawaii System we are thrilled that Hobsons is bringing these two approaches to student success together. We are already leveraging Starfish and PAR technologies on multiple campuses to identify students who need help, which interventions are likely to work best for each student, and to forecast student utilization of these interventions to help us help students succeed,” says Dr. David Lassner, president of the University of Hawaii system. “Increasing student retention and decreasing time to graduation are among our highest priorities, and we know it can be done through the thoughtful application of data and analytics. With their 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 that we are confident will result in continuing improvement over time.”

Today’s colleges and universities are committed to advancing educational excellence and preparing students to become thoughtful, engaged citizens of the world. Institutions invest 20-30% of their annual budgets on academic support, student services, and institutional support, implementing an average of 80 interventions and support an average of three to four planning and advising software tools. In addition, there are new initiatives every year (e.g., iPASS, Redefining the First Year Experience) for institutions to evaluate, while considering which initiatives to discontinue.

“Much of today’s student success conversation is focused on whether a student is ready for college. While this is certainly important, we also should ask whether the institution is ready for the student. Senior administrators need to consider how they are aligning their people, data, and systems – across the institution and throughout the student experience – to foster a culture of student success,” says Stephen M. Smith, president of advising and admissions solutions at Hobsons. “At Hobsons, we are focused on helping institutions to make sense of what they are already doing to help students succeed and, further, to understand what is working. We partner with institutional leaders to help them interpret their data and make informed decisions that are right for them, and we offer comprehensive tools that drive action.”

To help reimagine and build an institution’s capacity for student success, Hobsons supports leadership teams in navigating the latest theories, trends, and approaches. This coaching enables leaders to interpret outcomes and make data-informed decisions so that precious resources can be focused where they will have the greatest effect. As a result, the institution’s key assets – its people – benefit by being able to connect with students in more meaningful, yet scalable, ways.

“It’s absolutely clear that students are changing. They are more diverse, have more exposure to the world, and hold greater expectations of us. And while students will always need to be ready to enter college, institutions also need to be ready for students – and commit ourselves to supporting them through their entire educational experience,” says Dr. Randy Swing, former executive director of the Association for Institutional Research. “The promise of quick fixes and magic wands is not going to create sustainable change. The Hobsons approach is well positioned to help institutions become ‘student ready’ in a way that will yield near- and long-term results.”

The Starfish platform is used by hundreds of institutions supporting millions of students, including nearly 20 grantee institutions of the Gates-funded iPASS program. To learn more, visit the Hobsons booth #313 at EDUCAUSE October 25-28, 2016 in Anaheim, Calif., or visit

About Hobsons. Hobsons helps students identify their strengths, explore careers, create academic plans, match to best-fit educational opportunities, and reach their education and life goals. Through our solutions, we enable thousands of educational institutions to improve college and career planning, admissions and enrollment management, and student success and advising for millions of students around the globe.