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ERIC Number: ED516904
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 165
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-2492-9
Online Social Networking Goes to College: Two Case Studies of Higher Education Institutions That Implemented College-Created Social Networking Sites for Recruiting Undergraduate Students
Ferguson, Christopher Paul
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
With increased competition among higher education institutions for best- fit students, the profession of college admissions is compelled to implement innovative recruiting strategies (e.g. online social networking sites), that may impact college access and persistence in the United States. This qualitative study examined the reasons why two distinct higher education institutions implemented college-created social networking sites (SNSs) as a way to recruit undergraduate students. Interviews, social network site observations, and document analysis were the primary methods used to investigate the following research questions: (1) Why did the institution explore the phenomenon of social networking sites as a recruiting strategy; (2) how did it implement a college-created networking site for the purpose of recruiting undergraduate students; and (3) based on a comparison of admitted applicants to enrolled student yield rates between SNS members and nonmembers, how effective was that site as a recruiting strategy. The researcher found that the institutions studied here explored the phenomenon of social networking as a recruiting strategy because online SNSs are a popular platform that college and high school students use to engage in conversation during the college choice process. Each of the institutions also had a culture of experimentation amongst its enrollment management staff, and there was an individual or vendor associated with the institution who was a visionary in using social networking as a college-specific platform. A common belief among staff members at these institutions shared was that SNSs are a marketing tool that enables institutions to be "authentic" by allowing members to create, collect, and share stories in relation to its college environment. The design of these college-specific SNSs was strongly influenced by general-use SNSs like Facebook and MySpace. Like these popular sites, the college-based SNSs focused on member-created content as the basis for communication. In order to assess the effectiveness of a college-created SNS, the researcher determined that institutions must connect its SNS to its student information system. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A