Starfish and Noel-Levitz Collaborate to Support College and University Retention Efforts

Offering Institutions a Seamless Approach to Identifying At-risk Students and Their Needs and Then Prioritizing and Managing Student Interventions

Arlington, VA – July 25, 2011 — Noel-Levitz and Starfish Retention Solutions today announced that they have joined forces to address student attrition issues. The two firms plan to work together to combine student motivation and receptivity data from Noel-Levitz with the Starfish tracking and case management system, giving institutions a seamless approach to identifying at-risk students and their needs and then prioritizing and managing student interventions. In time for the Fall 2011 academic term, the companies plan to integrate Noel-Levitz's Retention Management System Plus™ with Starfish EARLY ALERT™ and Starfish CONNECT™.

Noel-Levitz works with hundreds of campuses across North America each year to engage first- and second-year students through motivational assessment, proactive outreach, and interventions. Using the Retention Management System Plus™, campuses receive detailed, actionable data on students, making it easier to connect with students on an individual level and helping more of them complete their educational plan. The Retention Management System Plus™ identifies leading cognitive and affective indicators of students' success and incorporates statistical data that predicts student persistence.

Accessible with a single login to an institution's student information system, portal system, or learning management system, Starfish is a collection of two software systems. 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 during the academic term. Starfish CONNECT™, an education support 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.

"At Paul Smith's College, we have been working with Noel-Levitz and Starfish for a number of years as part of our overall student retention efforts," said Dr. John Mills, president at Paul Smith's College. "We are excited to have the invaluable predictive data from Noel-Levitz directly accessible within the Starfish system to identify from the outset which students would benefit from increased support. We can then use the tools within the Starfish system to monitor these students' progress and identify other students who may be faltering. Real time continual assessment throughout the term allows us to provide a continuous safety net for detecting at-risk students and quickly intervening to improve their success."

By importing the data from Noel-Levitz into the Starfish system, college and university retention leaders will be able to identify students to target and then track their efforts to intervene and provide support throughout the academic year. With the two solutions working together, students identified through the Noel-Levitz tools as being at risk can be "flagged" within the Starfish system, notifying advisors and other student services personnel of the potential concerns. In addition, advisors can access student-specific data from the online student folder within Starfish, giving advisors a holistic view of the student, including course activity data, grades, instructor feedback, action plans, and other real-time data collected through the Starfish system.

"By combining our motivation and receptivity data with the tracking and case management functions of the Starfish system, our campus colleagues have the tools they need to identify and prioritize students at risk, insight into the student's area of risk, a means to provide students with the appropriate resources, and the ability to track outcomes throughout the academic experience," said Noel-Levitz Senior Vice President of Retention Solutions Janene Panfil. "The result is a more effective and efficient early alert strategy to increase student completion."

"Starfish and Noel-Levitz are each committed to helping our client partners connect with students in ways that promote academic success," said David Yaskin, CEO and founder of Starfish Retention Solutions. "We are pleased to be working with Noel-Levitz in a way that extends the value of their robust predictive data through our easy to use tracking and case management system – providing institutions with a holistic approach to identifying and supporting at-risk students."

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

About Noel-Levitz

Noel-Levitz is a nationally recognized higher education consulting firm that focuses on strategic planning for enrollment and student success. Each year, campus executives meet regularly with Noel-Levitz to accomplish their goals for student recruitment, marketing, student retention, and strategic enrollment management. The firm offers consulting, custom research, benchmark data, innovative tools and technologies, side-by-side plan development and execution, and resources for professional development. For more information, visit

John Plunkett
Vice President, Marketing & Operations