Starfish by Hobsons Awarded Two Technology Trailblazer Awards by Complete College America

Starfish Academic Planning

Point students in the right direction

Achieving the Dream and Complete College America agree that integrated career and academic planning leads to increased retention and graduation rates. Many students enroll in college with an interest in a particular academic program (or two) but no idea how that ties to a career at the end of their journey. In addition, they only have a vague idea of how to put together a course plan that will help them complete their degree or certificate. Starfish Academic Planning offers career exploration and academic planning designed to help students reach their goals. 

Starfish Career Connections, powered by PAIRIN, is the career investigation component of Starfish, allowing students to explore career paths that fit with their work experience, strengths, interests and transferable skills.  

Starfish Degree Planner, the academic planning module of the Starfish platform, makes it possible for your institution to efficiently provide each student with a proactive, personalized, step-by-step roadmap to the finish line, even as his or her goals and circumstances change. 

When combined, Starfish Degree Planner and Starfish Career Connections become even more powerful. Not only will institutions be able to help their students find the career that best fits their preferences, institutions will be able to match degree programs to the student’s selected career path.  

Determine the starting point 

Using a soft skills assessment in Starfish Career Connections, students answer a short questionnaire to understand their top four quality attributes. The tool then reviews relevant work experience and interests to recommend potential career paths, providing students with detailed information for over 600 careers which can be filtered by personal preference, desired location, salary, education requirements, job tasks, opportunity rating and much more. Starfish Degree Planner amplifies those results by recommending degrees that can lead to the student’s career choice. 

The impact for advisors is making it easier to see what programs students are planning to pursue, what choices they have already made, and the constraints or factors that may impact student schedules. Rather than focusing on which math classes are required for a particular major, advisors can concentrate on helping students explore additional learning options such as internships, or determine appropriate next steps based on the student’s progress in his or her program of study. 

Change plans for changing needs 

Students’ goals are subject to change. They may discover an affinity for a new discipline, or need to adjust their schedule from full- to part-time, miss registration deadlines, or require a course that is oversubscribed. Starfish Degree Planner prompts intervention when a student goes “off plan” – so advisors can bring students in for a status check, regroup to understand their goals, and deploy revised Academic Plans if needed. 

Help advisors work efficiently 

Academic advisors are busy, and deciphering the program requirements for hundreds (or thousands) of different students with different levels of preparedness can be daunting. With Starfish Degree Planner, the institution can lay out templates for academic achievement, and advisors can access and assign the correct Academic Plans with just a few clicks. A student’s past course enrollments populate instantly so the advisor can see how a student’s past and future coursework will impact their stated academic goals.