StudentSpace is a software service providing company which specializes in student tracking and retention software for universities and colleges in USA. The company started in 1998 and has served over 250 institutions. At StudentSpace, our main goal is helping the universities and colleges to achieve highest retention and graduation rates. Over the years, StudentSpace has grown to be the largest student Information and intelligent data tracking company in North America.
StudentSpace’s products are based on research done in partnership with the US Department of Education and social institutions supporting social causes. Our software helps measure success of all university efforts; helps universities get accreditation by improving student’s success and learning outcomes. StudentSpace’s Software helps universities & colleges in effectively tracking and using grant monies to raise the level of student success overall.
Our services like, Predictive analytics helps identify at-risk students at an early stage in the ongoing semester, the Early Intervention system does timely intervention and assists students in time so that they don’t drop out or fail their classes. It shows the specific areas that the student might need extra attention. Instructors can proactively reach out to students who are struggling to take corrective actions before it’s too late.
StudentSpace was born in the high deserts of Northern New Mexico in 1998 when a group of educators who had an extreme student centric philosophy got frustrated with the existing systems in use. The first major gap addressed was student advising, as known to all - correct or accurate student advising is the most important experience for a student which directly impacts their successful time in college. This, retention which is apart described by Dr. Tinto that student retention starts in the class room.
However, to be placed in the right classroom, proper advising is a must. While the college was using POISE software, the student advising module developed by StudentSpace was implemented in the advising department. This vision soon grew to incorporate student retention, education planning and basic institutional research analytics. Within two years, more than 8 campuses were using StudentSpace’s tracking system in New Mexico. Most of these campuses were funded by Title V Grants. The Title V grants were focusing on increasing retention and graduation rates for his-panic students. StudentSpace designed around the students became the number one choice for these grantees to meet their goals and compliance. One important out of many excellent student tracking features was cohort tracking in which learning communities could be created/tracked and retained by implementing early intervention.
Beyond a vision of educators in search of an extremely user-friendly system this product was the first to incorporate early intervention module which completed or complemented the student tracking advising services and education planning which were already in the system. The combination of excellent software creators and a consortium of New Mexico and Texas colleges gave further impetus to this mission. In presentations and conferences, StudentSpace was treated like the launch of apple by Steve Jobs. Many Title V/III Directors would get up in the audience and explain can I write the cheque right now for the software?
This dedication and enthusiasm were due to an extremely well-designed software with the simplify of point and click covered the complex algorithms behind who's intelligence and output was the dream of any educator for his or her students. The education plan, whenever its new features were launched in conferences, the users would await it like a launch of new iPad or iPhone. The software and its mission spread to Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, New Jersey and all the way to Alaska. It impressed the department of Education so much that anyone including StudentSpace product in their proposals would usually get funded. The staff at US Department of Education were so impressed by this, that they made an exception to their policies and attended a StudentSpace conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
They were convinced that the company’s motive was the students and not just to make money which is very easy in this business. It has to be remembered in those early days of the new millennium, easy to use point and click interfaces were still a dream for many campuses. Also, concepts like student tracking and early intervention were being discussed and being introduced in various conferences and were now entering the mainstream. But nobody in the US or perhaps globally had transformed these concepts into a working software. In this, StudentSpace has been and undisputed pioneer and over its two-decade run has tracked intervened and reported on over a quarter million student from campuses where student population usually less than 5000.
The Early Alert module created an unprecedented impact in catching and supporting students early in the semester in the classroom. Since by then, it was proven that the traditional midterm grade was too late to correct the course of the failing student. StudentSpace quickly spread in other parts of the world, beyond US and focused on the large student population of India. In India, StudentSpace helped 100's of schools to track and retain at risk students. Over the two decades, many offers were made by large companies to buy and repackage the software but since these companies wanted to raise the price exorbitantly, the Board refused such lucrative offers so that the price could fit the budget of small institutions worldwide. It is important to mention that this organization from the very start has been what is now called a Social Enterprise.
As, Mr. Eric Lawson of Rio University says often - StudentSpace is a company with big heart. Time and again, StudentSpace has done 100s of hours of programming and tech support free or heavily discounted for institutions that were short of funds but desperately needed the tech support. When the hurricane struck Puerto Rico, the institutions could not pay the annual maintenance support fee but as per StudentSpace policy - the whole year support was given so that the students who were being tracked and supported were not left behind merely because the natural disaster had caused their college not to pay the AMC.(competency base module)
The team behind StudentSpace in its usual innovative way, were the first company to introduce competency-based learning audits. The competency audit implemented at the Santa Fe community college in the early childhood program under Dr. Frances Levine was a success and it introduced the concept of skill/competency level feedback to the learners which made far more sense than a simple A or B grade at the end of the semester.
At northern New Mexico, the institution went one step further and shared the competency audits with local employers and even suggested that if any competency area, the student fails to perform at his job, then the college will retrain the student in that skill free of cost. This kind of philosophy did change the lives of hundreds of students who otherwise would have been condemned to the life of very low skilled jobs and constant threat of unemployment. The R&D team of StudentSpace introduced the concept of Education Intelligence in the year 2000 and the IR (Institutional Research) Departments greatly benefited from reports and data analytics which would take weeks or months in traditional systems. In short, this company with the Grande Corazen not only changed the landscape in New Mexico and neighboring states but has also affected student lives in faraway lands.
Now, we have multiple offices globally - Santa Fe, US and India.
For colleges and institutions whose enrollment is between 1 to 5000 should or definitely should explore seriously the possibility of working with StudentSpace. Since the product from day 1, has evolved from the smaller institution, high touch workflows. Also, in this segment of higher education, budgets are smaller and the IT team is often quite limited in numbers. Therefore, a company which is student centric, extremely generous and cost effective and also willing to share the source code is a good choice for such campuses.
Within the obvious constraints of this segment of institutions, buying an expensive software from large enterprises is often counterproductive. The main reason for this is that no matter what these large commercial corporations say, for them colleges in this segment are the smaller clients while for StudentSpace, these smaller institutions and their at-risk students are major customers to support and service. Another factor is that, large ERP systems come with prefabricated workflows which are designed for large campuses and any customization is not only very difficult but extremely expensive. There have been cases where the customization and training costs have crossed over a million $ in 3 years which is over and above the initial cost of the software. While StudentSpace full access to the database so that the local IT people can write their own reports and queries easily. Many proprietary systems do not allow that or charge exorbitantly.
In the modern era of software implementation in higher education, a hybrid model of development and implementation works best. The college IT Team should have complete access to the database, the source code so that they can in house do certain add-ons without incurring expensive consulting costs. On the other hand, if they choose to, they can get the same programming and reporting done at 35% to 40% less cost than the traditional big giants. Under this hybrid model, your campus has an incredibly flexible yet competent system to work with. It is like getting and option of having open source software without necessarily having the need to go into the code during implementation. The education intelligence consisting of advising logs, mentor logs, intelligent education planning, smart degree audits, competency audits, assessment of student learning reports, student services - all also leading to data for accreditation of the institution.
Paying one time for the product might not be too difficult but its recurring cost is very hard to anticipate specially while implementing an institution wide MIS. No campus needs a one-time solution where the hand holding is either not there or extremely expensive and prohibitive Since, StudentSpace has always been a social enterprise focusing on student centric solutions for higher education and various grants where data of students needs to be tracked, you are always working with a company whose sole focus is to serve and help in your students' success.