Full Measure Education, a Washington D.C. startup focused on improving higher education completion, has closed a $5.5 million round of Series B financing.
The service is a comprehensive solution to the problem of low college completion rates. The average completion rate for all institutions combined is 46% within six years; when just community colleges are counted, the rate drops to about 30%. Only 1 in 10 students say that academics is their reason for dropping out. Problems like missing deadlines and general life stressors are much more common reasons. Full Measure gives colleges a framework and support network to proactively give students what they need to attain their degrees.
Full Measure offers students access to resources, career aptitude testing, and live guidance available 24/7. Administrators get access to collected information, a unified approach across campus, and key performance indicators. Faculty and advisors benefit from having a platform for student interaction, access to information, and input on plans.
According to the service's website, all of its phone operators are student service professionals with college degrees. They use cloud computing and smartphones to talk to students the way students talk to each other. This allows them to send students alerts to discuss falling academic performance or to warn of upcoming deadlines.
Its cofounder and CEO Greg Davies was one of Blackboard's first five hires in 1997, writes Molly Greenberg of DCInno. Davies said:
Full Measure Education was founded to address the national college dropout rate, a prevalent issue affecting students and higher education institutions alike, by looking beyond traditional communication between student and administration. By providing technology, communications, strategies, and live student counselors to support students throughout the education life-cycle, we look forward to realizing fantastic gains in student completion.
This company comes on the heels of his success with Presidium, a customer service platform for colleges that Blackboard purchased for $23 million in 2011.
The round of financing, writes Ronald Barba of Tech.Co, was led by Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., and Bull City Venture Partners.
Erik B. Rasmussen, Managing Director of Technology at Safeguard, will be joining Full Measure's board of directors, according to Benzinga. He was responsible for investing in Blackboard when he was with Aurora Funds, Inc. Rasmussen said:
The team at Full Measure Education has witnessed firsthand the problem of declining student retention and graduation rates for higher education in America. Full Measure Education's software-as-a-service platform is focused on helping higher education institutions increase retention and graduation rates while empowering students to successfully navigate the complex administrative processes needed to graduate. We are excited to partner with Measure Education to solve the challenges facing higher education today.