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ERIC Number: ED525772
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 239
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-9489-0
Social Network Site Use and Student Retention at a Four-Year Private University
Ward, Tracy H.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
Institutions look to the literature to discern successful practices to facilitate the transition to college and promote institutional commitment and persistence. However, the higher education literature presents little data on a community in which students are already involved, social network sites (SNS). Moreover, the literature is conflicting in its assessment of the effect of SNS use upon student success. At the same time, disagreements over the solution to facilitating the transition to college are evident in the literature. This study addresses limitations to the literature on SNS and suggests that SNS use may offer an answer to the debate. This study addresses three limitations to the literature that assesses the impact of SNS use upon students. First, the literature tends to focus upon frequency of use, but fails to ask how students are using SNS. Second, the literature does not consider the communities with whom the students are interacting. Finally, studies often fail to disaggregate data by gender, ethnicity, or residential status. This study's findings reveal that both frequency and type of interactions, the communities with whom students are interacting, and differences according to gender, ethnicity and residential status are all important considerations in weighing the impact of SNS on persistence decisions. In addition to addressing limitations to the literature on SNS in the context of higher education, this study provides an answer to some of the critics of Tinto's (1993) Student Integration Model. The most prevalent criticism of the model is that it suggests that students must break away from their home communities in order to transition to college. This study demonstrates that SNS have made it possible for SNS to reduce the need for students to make a clean break from their home communities to transition to college and that SNS may provide an avenue through which students may find encouragement to realize their educational goals. At the same time, the study demonstrates that although it is not necessary for students to make a clean break from their home communities, it is important that they are able to make the transition to college. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A