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ERIC Number: ED538092
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
Getting Connected: Harnessing the Power of Social Media to Enhance Community College Student Success. The Claremont Letter. Volume 6, Issue 3
Rios-Aguilar, Cecilia
Claremont Graduate University (NJ1)
While higher education institutions seem to be utilizing social media more and more, there still exist enormous challenges in trying to understand the new dynamics generated by social media in higher education, particularly for the context of community colleges. In March 2011, the author and her colleague Dr. Regina Deil-Amen (Associate Professor at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona) received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to collaborate with the League for Innovation in the Community College, Inigral, Inc. (the developers of the Schools App) and 9 community colleges across the U.S. to: (1) explore the relevance of social media and its use across a wide spectrum of community colleges across the U.S., and (2) examine if and how commuter-based community colleges attempt to use social media as a mechanism to increase students' connection to college. Given the findings of this report, they provide community college leaders with some recommendations as they continue to think of purposeful ways to integrate social media into the fabric of their educational institutions. These recommendations include: (a) have a strategic plan, (b) get buy-in from executive leadership, faculty, and staff about the importance of social media, (c) think about your resources, (d) add value by using social media applications and other social media platforms, (e) maintain privacy and confidentiality, and (f) define your metrics to assess the effectiveness of social media. In the next stages of their study, they will combine social network analyses in a more sophisticated way with institutional data to identify the network patterns that seem to produce the desired outcomes. In other words, they will examine whether or not the use of the Schools App and the creation of friendships is related, in some way, to community college students' outcomes (i.e., persistence and success). In addition, they will continue studying the meaning, purpose and function that students ascribe to friendships and on-line interactions.
Claremont Graduate University. School of Educational Studies, 150 East Tenth Street, Claremont, CA 91711. Tel: 909-621-8000; Fax: 909-621-8734; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Claremont Graduate University