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"On the student side alone, Salesforce has been a huge game changer for us." - Malcolm LeMay, Director of Operations at OSU COB

Oregon State University focuses on student success

In the past the Oregon State University College of Business (OSU COB) relied on spreadsheets, sticky notes, and numerous Access databases to manage data on students, alumni and faculty. In 2009 OSU COB decided to make the leap and switch to Salesforce. They have been on a roll ever since.

Finding ways to better meet the needs of faculty and students represented the primary driver for the transition. Salesforce provides OSU COB with an easier and more sustainable solution to track, compile and analyze relevant data. OSU COB uses Salesforce to track the entire student life cycle, from prospect through post-graduation. The data collected from the students and alumni directly support OSU COB accreditation requirements and provide evidence of how well students are achieving program learning goals and objectives. OSU COB also captures faculty research productivity and teaching results in Salesforce.

OSU COB recently launched their STAR (Students Taking Academic Responsibility) pilot program to identify students who are struggling academically and to help them get back on track. At the end of each term OSU COB leverages Salesforce reports to trigger a process for assisting students in academic trouble. Students identified in the STAR report are asked to complete a survey about their study habits and any problem areas. The survey results are mapped to cases in Salesforce. OSU COB advisors use the cases to develop a plan of action with the student and follow the student’s progress. Cases are closed at the end of a term. If another case is opened for the same student, the next advisor can access the history in the previous case to quickly come up to speed.

With the help of Salesforce Portals, OSU COB was able to significantly improve the way students register for classes. Previously, students had to schedule a meeting with the advising office to obtain their PIN to register for classes. Now students simply log into the portal to access directly their PIN for the current term, which saves students and advisors a lot of time. Students can also use the portal to enter internship information, career interests, and view their cases.

“We manage everything we can think of through Salesforce.”- Malcolm LeMay, Director of Operations at OSU COB.

OSU COB has also enjoyed great success in having students assist with developing and testing new features in the college’s Salesforce deployment. These tech-savvy students will be well positioned to pursue post-graduation employment based on their experience with App Cloud.

Overall, Salesforce has already transformed the College of Business. OSU COB now manages all their important data with Salesforce, greatly improving their service and support for students and faculty. Even more exciting opportunities lay ahead. Going forward, OSU COB plans to leverage Salesforce for other purposes such as supporting the accounting functions in the business center, managing room scheduling, tracking procurement, assisting the scholarship awards process, launching a portal for faculty, and using Chatter as a collaboration tool for faculty research activities.

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