USC Viterbi Issues “On Chain” Verified, Digital Credential to Graduating 2023 Grand Challenge Scholars Students

| May 31, 2023

Creation of Customized, On-Chain Verified Credential is a first for the School

NAE Grand Challenges Scholar Awards; Photo by Steve Cohn

NAE Grand Challenges Scholar Awards; Photo by Steve Cohn

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering issued its first digital, non-transferable credential to its graduating Grand Challenge Program Scholars.   The Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP), a global initiative co-founded at USC in 2009,  is a blend of curricula and extracurricular activities that prepares engineering students to address the Grand Challenges of Engineering, first articulated by the National Academy of Engineering in 2008, and which address areas such as sustainability, security and health. The title of Grand Challenge Scholar is conferred at graduation upon completion of the program requirements. This year’s USC GCSP Scholars also received an “on chain” verified, digital credential. They were the first USC Viterbi School of Engineering students to receive such a credential.

The issued custom credential was designed for instantaneous verification using blockchain technology and complements traditional existing credentials issued by the university’s transcript office. The credential was issued by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and will be able to be verified on the platform created by alumni-helmed startup Heirloom.

Chris James, USC Viterbi’s Chief Financial Officer said, “A digital token for this Grand Challenge Scholar accomplishment means that our students will not need to request a transcript to verify their Grand Challenge Scholar status; student credentials will be secure, instantly verifiable, and authenticated via blockchain technology. Beyond the current University transcript, we believe these verifiable credentials will enable students to tell a more complete story of their experience and accomplishments at USC Viterbi.”

“Our goal,” added James, “is to help facilitate a rapid exchange of information for our graduates who are emerging professionals, allowing them to be productive contributors to organizations and society. It will allow students to showcase their global mindset to potential employers and contacts.”

“We’re so thrilled to be working with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to provide students with an easy-to-access, platform through which they can access their earned, interoperable on-chain credential that will serve them throughout their careers,” said Heirloom CEO, Nick Dazé.

Published on May 31st, 2023

Last updated on June 1st, 2023

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