New advising tools will roll out May 2016 in time for New Student Orientation

In remarks to University administrators on Oct. 21, Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones introduced the Starfish Enterprise Success Platform, a Hobsons Inc. suite of academic advising tools selected by Penn State to integrate with LionPATH and replace current ISIS and eLion advising features that deliver advising notes, early progress reports and online scheduling of advising appointments.

Calling the selection of Starfish “a landmark decision for Penn State,” Jones credited the LionPATH advising team with discovering the need for a more robust toolkit for academic advisers and then evaluating proposals and recommending Starfish as a viable solution. 

“We wanted to have a single platform for the documenting of advising interactions,” he explained. ”Advising is not just about selecting classes or checking on degree requirements. It has to be about a sustained conversation that enables students to understand and articulate how the many pieces of their education come together as a whole.”

The Starfish advising toolkit will also identify at-risk students in real time, pinpoint areas of concern, connect students with valuable services and help to assess which services and interventions will keep students on track.

Jones also announced the launch of an implementation team under the leadership of David Smith, associate dean for advising and executive director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies. The team will introduce and deploy Starfish as it replaces eLion and other college-hosted advising system tools when eLion and ISIS are decommissioned. 

In addition to delivering many of the same functions currently available in eLion and the Electronic Advising Records System, Starfish will establish important networks of communication across the University. Both undergraduate and graduate programs will benefit from the Starfish platform.     

"Starfish will help Penn State more deliberately and systematically focus on student success, said Smith.

After training sessions for academic advisers in spring 2016, a phased roll-out of the full suite of Starfish capabilities will begin in May 2016 in time for New Student Orientation.

In coming weeks and throughout the project, additional details, including periodic updates, training announcements and points of contact will be provided to the advising community and other end users.

Last Updated May 12, 2016