Reigniting the Charge

Upping our game on academic advising is absolutely essential for our ability to meet our educational mission. I just can’t think of anything that’s really more important. We need to ensure that our students have the educational experience that they deserve.
– Dr. Elizabeth Graddy, Interim Provost

At the start of the Spring 2023 semester, the Advise USC Program steering committee welcomed Interim Provost Elizabeth Graddy and Vice Provost of Academic Programs and Dean of the Graduate School Andrew McConnell Stott to kick off the new year. University leadership charged the committee to provide students with a comprehensive academic experience and revolutionize academic advising at USC with the implementation of a new enterprise-wide software system: Salesforce’s Student Success Hub.

Interim Provost Graddy noted that the key to a successful advising program is not just the software itself, but also the culture and expectations surrounding it. USC is dedicated to developing a mission, vision, and values for academic advising, and ensuring the new platform’s ongoing design and customization is effective under the guidance of the Advise USC Program. To aid in this effort, Dr. Sarah Holdren was announced as the Interim Vice Provost for Academic Advising at USC, charged with the mission to manage this monumental organizational and cultural shift. Drawing on her fifteen years of experience in academic advising and administration, Dr. Holdren will reimagine centralized training initiatives for academic advisors as part of the change management process that will run in parallel to the new advising platform’s roll out.

The committee extends its thanks to Jenny Jones, Director of Enterprise Applications for her role as the representative of USC Information Technology Services in the previous year. This year the committee welcomed Dr. Ashley Smith, Interim Associate Chief Information Officer of Application Services and Director of CRM Applications. Dr. Smith’s extensive experience in the arena of customer relationship management systems will help ensure the Advise USC Program provides academic advisors with the equitable and secure access to student data that they need to fulfill their responsibilities. A true 360 degree view of the student experience is on the horizon!

Last fall Ryan Rozan joined the Advise USC Program as the Project Manager. In this role, he will coordinate the multiple workstreams of the software implementation and lead the project team in its day-to-day efforts. Ryan brings a broad range of skills and experience to the project, with expertise in academic advising and administration, a deep understanding of the USC academic technology ecosystem, and the ability to swiftly coordinate the activities of technical and non-technical teams.

Bringing Salesforce’s Student Success Hub to academic advisors and students at USC is just the first step toward improving academic advisement across campus. With the support of central administration and the hard work of the steering committee and project teams, USC is well positioned for success and ready to bring positive change to all members of the advising community.