Starfish Retention Solutions is partnering with eTutoring.org to help academic institutions identify at-risk students and provide extra help to them in a timely manner. The partnership is intended to help institutions improve retention and success rates during the first year of college. Through simple integrations with an institution's course management system, the joint solution will leverage Starfish Early Alert to identify underperforming students, based on measurements of their daily academic activity such as low grades, poor attendance, or missed assignments. The system will then deliver automatic e-mail notifications to those students, alerting them to the institution's concerns. The e-mail will include a direct link to academic support services provided by eTutoring.org, such as online tutoring and writing support.
The partnership between Starfish and eTutoring.org is a result of industry research indicating that student success is largely predicated on two important factors: early identification of a student at risk and use of tutoring, especially for math and writing. The joint solution enables institutions to leverage technology to automate the monitoring and support of students. Accessible with a single log-in to an institution's course management system, 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. The system generates performance data for the institution, including resource usage that helps optimize future student service offerings. As a service of the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC), eTutoring.org offers an online tutoring consortium. Students can access a tutor online, submit questions for a tutor to respond to later, or get help with a writing assignment. The tutors are staffed by member institutions within the consortium–reducing the burden for individual institutions. Institutions can join an existing collaborative–or create their own collaborative for a system or group of schools.