Starfish Awarded 2017 Guided Pathways Seal of Approval by Complete College America

Davidson County Community College

Fast Facts

  • Community College
  • North Carolina
  • Achieving the Dream
  • Completion by Design
  • 6,000 Students
  • Visit Their Website

Starfish in Action

An Intrusive Advising Model for First-Year Students

Mary Rittling

Mary Rittling, Ed.D.

“Unlike many new technologies, the Starfish system has been embraced, and often celebrated, by our campus community. This is because of its ease of use, its innovative capabilities, and its swift impact on student retention.”

– Mary Rittling, Ed.D., President, Davidson County Community College


Davidson County Community College is committed to partnering with its students from the moment of connection to the moment of completion. As part of its 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, DCCC created a cross-campus collaborative Student Success Team to oversee the integration of the institution’s student success programs. DCCC also implemented a comprehensive first-year experience program built on three components: mandatory orientation, centralized intrusive advising, and a student success course required in the first semester.

DCCC has used Starfish® Enterprise Success Platform™  since 2011 to facilitate early detection of first-year students who exhibit indicators that they are falling behind and to foster strong campus communication strategies about working together to help those students. DCCC found course retention rates within the entering term increased from 88.2% for the fall 2011 cohort to 93.1% for the fall 2012 cohort, and from 79.7% to 88.9% for each cohort’s subsequent spring term.

In a spring 2013 student satisfaction survey, first-year students rated the Starfish platform the highest of all the academic resources offered by the institution.

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