The company is currently used by nearly 250 colleges and universities to monitor students’ progress and identify those who need extra support through services such as tutoring and mentoring. Starfish then helps institutions to develop these support structures.
Combined with Hobsons’ existing advising and admissions tools, Starfish will help to form a comprehensive portfolio of student support from K-12 through to graduate school level, the education giant said.
The move also marks an international expansion for Virginia-based Starfish as Hobsons begins to integrate the service into its operations in the UK.
“The community will benefit in the long run through the additional resources Hobsons brings to the table”
Nearly 19% of students who enter higher education in the UK do not complete their qualification, noted Stephen Smith, president of advising and admissions solutions for Hobsons.
“The UK government has charged all HEIs with improving access to all groups and that includes supporting those students post enrolment so they achieve the best outcomes,” he explained.
“We will help connect students with the people and services they need to persevere and succeed.”
The new acquisition is a move on the part of Hobsons to increase its investments in advising and admissions, according to CEO Craig Heldman.
With the acquisition, Hobsons is “aiming to provide a comprehensive, seamless transition for students to discover their strengths and interests, explore careers, and create education plans, then persevere until they succeed in getting their degrees and launching their careers”, he said.
Most Starfish staff will stay in place, while CEO and founder David Yaskin will take on a leadership role at Hobsons.
“For the foreseeable future, it is business as usual,” said Yaskin. “Our product support team is in the same place. Our implementation and campus relations teams are all here.”
“We are committed to delivering the same level of personalised service and attention that our clients have come to expect from Starfish,” he added. “And, the community will benefit in the long run through the additional resources Hobsons brings to the table.”